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    2018-2019 reviews:


    Beth Gill/Kakuya Ohashi

    Double dose

    Beth Gill and Kakuya Ohashi bring winds of alienation to a Kitchen double bill.


    The curious pairing of Japanese choreographer Kakuya Ohashi and Brooklyn-based Beth Gill at the Kitchen last Thursday and Friday proved that two wildly different pieces could nevertheless both touch on similar themes — isolation and alienation in this case. Both high on concept, this duo of dances, curated by Yasuko Yokoshi, presented varying physical and conceptual challenges, some of which remained more interesting in theory than in practice.

    Choreography by: Beth Gill, Kakuya Ohashi.
    Includes individual dances: "wounded giant" by Beth Gill;"Wish You Were Here" by Kakuya Ohashi
    Dancers: Julie Alexander, Neal Beastey, Chase Granoff, Harper Matheson, Kayvon Pourazar, Anna Sperber, Hannah Spongberg. Kakuya Ohashi, Miu Miu..
    Production design by: Chase Granoff.
    Art direction by: Chase Granoff.
    Sound design by: Chris Peck, Skank.
    Costumes by: Chase Granoff.
    Lighting design by: Lucrecia Briceno.
    Curator: Yasuko Yokoshi.
    The Kitchen Sept.29 and 30th, 8pm $10

    Kakuya Ohashi's Wish You Were Here purports to "explore the compulsion and neurosis of Tokyo's hyper-urban life." This is a theme that has been popular with Japanese artists for some time, and Ohashi adds little that is new or surprising to the discourse of urban alienation. Instead, he offers an unsettling duet that creates a great deal of sound and fury, but offers no resolution or real commentary.

    Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers consists of two performers, Ohashi and Miu Miu, a young, almost skeletal woman who begins the piece by walking casually to the stage in a light blue camisole and underpants. The house lights stay on as she begins to munch on a seaweed-wrapped rice cake, then chug from a bottle of what looks like green tea. Ohashi enters next, wearing a black shirt and trousers, as Miu Miu spits out the mess and begins to clench and contort her body. He sits down on a folding chair and grimaces as Miu Miu's gyrations become more extreme. Ohashi maintains a kind of sinister control over the scene, sitting in his chair, then becoming entangled in it, as Miu Miu becomes more undone, ending up screeching and crying (or laughing hysterically?). A sound score by Skank is mixed and performed live, ranging from walls of industrial, extremely loud sound, to trancy lounge music, to live thrashing on an electric guitar.

    Beth Gill/Kakuya Ohashi  
    Beth Gill's wounded giant is a kind of dance-physics experiment, taking as its impulse the idea that dancers propel themselves by their own momentum, move through space, then naturally come to rest as they encounter resistance. An intriguing concept, but a bit hard to watch for twenty-five minutes. Perhaps this was because the pace remained the same slow, deliberate exploration of motion and stillness.

      An intriguing concept...
    Seven dancers in casual clothing explore the Kitchen's stage with movement that ranges from utilitarian — carrying one of two standing fans used in the piece — to locomotive — slow downstage rolls. Three dancers propel themselves away from the back wall and roll like cogs in a conveyer belt in a factory assembly line. The fans trail blue extension cords that crisscross the space, cordoning off areas of activity and stillness. At one point, a woman walks slowly around the perimeter, dragging her hand along the wall, past a clump of beached dancers. Chris Peck's live mix incorporates the sounds of the dancers' movements as well as ambient noise made during the performance, creating a faint humming atmosphere punctuated by the whirring of the fans.

    OCTOBER 14, 2005

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