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  •  REVIEW: FLIP/SIDE

    (inner)views in flip/Side
    Photo by Quinn Batson
    "(inner)views"

    Faces of Eve

    At Cunninham Studio two choreographers alternate in 'flip/Side' with a good mix of style and pace.

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Janessa Clark/KILTERBOX and Beth Rodriguez presented an evening of feminine power and beauty on December 2. flip/Side ranged from comedic satire to sober exposition and from flat-out physicality to ponderous lethargy.

      
    FLIP/SIDE
    Choreography by: Janessa Clark/KILTERBOX and Beth Rodriguez.
    Dancers: KILTERBOX: Ulrika Berg, Janessa Clark, Courtney Jo Drasner, Megan Heflin, Ashley Saffioti, Eline Tan /// Beth Rodriguez: Kelly Buwalda, Paige Constable, Drasner, Emily Gayeski, Heflin, Jennifer Katz, Beth Rodriguez .
     SCHEDULE
    Merce Cunningham Studio
    55 Bethune Street, 11th Fl
    Dec. 2-4, 2005

    Clark's mesmerizing Tesseract is a high-intensity piece featuring strong dancing by Ulrika Berg, Courtney Jo Drasner, Megan Heflin and Eline Tan. A fairly simple movement palette allows clear interactions and use of space, with bodies at first seemingly all over but ending in a grouped line, burning out one by one. For a piece intended as "dark and post-apocalyptic," the stage was overlit, but there's still a sense of conflict and of pushing the body to exhaustion. Clark makes good musical choices for all her pieces.

    Rodriguez' Not by Blood and Pointed or Pretty dropped the energy level to almost zero, with most performers sitting motionless while one or two go through pretty but ponderous movement. Courtney Jo Drasner can give life to any material, so parts of Pointed or Pretty hold interest. Hindrances included a weak live guitar performance in "Not by Blood," a distracting but seemingly pointless low green fence of stretched plastic material upstage, and the joining of the two pieces without a break. The costumes generate some Southern antebellum charm that may explain the overall feeling of oppressive, lethargy-inducing heat.

    Sweet Vermouth in flip/Side  
    Photo by Quinn Batson  
    "Sweet Vermouth"
      
    Seemingly the work of a different person, Rodriguez' Influence One and Two duo of duets feature Prince-era music and a poppy, bubble-gum feel of fun and energy, the first performed by Kelly Buwalda and Heflin and the second by Drasner and Rodriguez.

    In Clark's multi-dimensional and multi-media piece (inner)views, a video of talking-head interviews — women discussing being lesbian — is projected on the back wall. Meanwhile a silhouetted woman writhes slowly to the right of the screen and Clark and Drasner dance a sometimes contentious, sometimes intimate duet. This is a well-constructed and interesting piece, though its point isn't completely clear. It raises issues of what is erotic and to whom but the interviews reach further with topics of coming out, violence and personal satisfaction.

    Sweet Vermouth, also by Clark, is a comic piece about the troubled lives of married women in the '50s who sometimes dealt with harsh expectations by pharmaceutical means, usually stimulants to counteract depression. It is danced enthusiastically by Berg, Ashley Saffioti and Tan. Though a bit scary, it's a lot of overacted fun in cute red dresses.

    This was an evening of feminine beauty, complexity, silliness and power, well-mixed.

    DECEMBER 14, 2005
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on flip/Side:

  • hot mix   from Jackson Sherwood, Dec 18, 2005

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