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  •  REVIEW: MINA NISHIMURA: TUNA

      Meow. Mina Nishimura and Tara O'Con in Mina Nishimura: Tuna
      Photo by Quinn Batson
      "Meow." Mina Nishimura and Tara O'Con
    Tuna for Dogs and Cats

    Mina Nishimura's new piece barks and meows and puzzles

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com


    Mina Nishimura's solo performances are a captivating combination of weirdness and fun that she dances in a style it would be hard to imagine another dancer being able to perform. In her first DTW showcase, she managed to transfer the weirdness and fun to a group of four, for a forty-five minute piece.

    "Tuna" seems to be a remembrance of a lost dog, mainly, though attaching a narrative would probably be a questionable exercise. Certainly there is a small Adidas-striped cardboard dog onstage and the dancers open the piece barking like dogs of all sizes, but quiet kitties also appear onstage in a hip-waggling duet (pictured at top), and an entire section of the piece feels like primeval humans discovering the unexpected possibilities of tools.

    MINA NISHIMURA: TUNA
    Choreography by: Mina Nishimura.
    Dancers: Kai Kleinbard, Ian McGowan, Mina Nishimura, Tara O‚Con.
    Sound design by: Stephe Cooper.
    Set design by: Kota Yamazaki.
     SCHEDULE
    Dance Theater Workshop studio space May 24 and 25, 2007

      
    There is often a dark side rubbing at the surface of "Tuna." The small cat sounds of the hip-waggling pair are interspersed with the word "nooo" said in a tiny voice. A lip-synched laughing jag has Ian McGowan mocking Tara O'Con until he falls to the floor, at which point she walks over to him and lip-synchs "f_k you." And near the end of the piece, Nishimura spends minutes softly sobbing on the floor while the other three stand apart and then coolly describe how close they came to successfully pretending they were sad, too.

    Each dancer gets their own moments of violent, at-the-edge-of-control dancing among the longer, quieter moments. O'Con and Kai Kleinbard both have strong solos, with his preceding a bit of the primeval-humans-with-tools section where he demonstrates the different ways one can move across the floor with a certain tool and the others follow.

    The piece ends with the four arms-to-shoulders as they began, walking in a line that circles and advances. "Tuna" is both dense and rewarding, heavy and refreshing, always unpredictable and sometimes funny: in short, filled with life.

    JUNE 5, 2007
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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