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  •  REVIEW: ROSEANNE SPRADLIN: SURVIVAL CYCLE

    Tasha Taylor (on video), Cˇdric Andrieux, Tasha Taylor in Roseanne Spradlin: Survival Cycle
    Photo by Julieta Cervantes
    Tasha Taylor (on video), Cˇdric Andrieux, Tasha Taylor

    A Dance Come Undone

    Roseanne Spradlin's Survival Cycle is compellingly simple and simply overpowering

    By SARAH CARLSON
    Offoffoff.com

    With the agenda tuned to mere survival, Roseanne Spradlin's appeal may be one of desperation or of being stuck in simply getting by. Her recent remounting of Survival Cycle at DTW is both and neither. Spradlin's choices have a matter of factness about them that simultaneously resound and fall flat.

      
    ROSEANNE SPRADLIN: SURVIVAL CYCLE
    Choreography by: Roseanne Spradlin.
    Dancers: Walter Dunderville, Chase Granoff, Melanie Maar, and Tasha Taylor
    On video: Cedric Andreiux and Paige Martin
    .
    Music by: Chris Peck.
    Lighting design by: Joe Levasseur.
    Video: Glen Fogel.
     SCHEDULE
    Dance Theater Workshop January 11, 2008

    Video projections of facial close-ups look out at the audience, silently regarding us, taking us in. These nameless faces are captivating, larger than life; they are big brother looking in, we shift in our seats. Then, almost imperceptively, the situation shifts; a veil has been lifted and it becomes clear that they are the ones being exposed, revealed, sized-up... by the director, by the cameraman, by us. The oversized heads penetrate the space, sustained gazes linger, some direct, some glazed, some shifty, all revealing, disarming in their honesty. Utterly real, yet recorded. Cut.

    Calmly four dancers enter and square off, serenely present and immobile. Suddenly they are overcome with quivering. Convulsing, as if inflicted with severe Parkinson's or modern day choreomania, they toss themselves about, increasingly unhinged. Often, they move as if manipulated: string puppets jitter-buzzing on caffeine. Meanwhile a live electric guitar groans: ominous, enveloping, dissonant and tense. Growing into cathartic blasts of buzzing chaos, scrambled strings shriek, unsettlingly loud and tortured, only to sink back into low-grade electric static. Fade out.

    Video blips accost us; scissors snipping through layers, knits, cottons, buttons, zippers. Fractured feed slaps us with visual jolts of information; exposed skin, inexorable sharpness, wholeness being torn asunder. Cut.

    The heads return and speak... no longer anonymous; the faces are the dancers who share private anecdotes; break up stories, dreams, inter-personal tensions brought up by the very creative process that produced this Cycle. Such a candid moment of disclosure links us to these performers as tattered clothing is carefully laid out, assembled into a makeshift mosaic. Like so many multicolored pieces of a puzzle coming together; the floor is completely dressed. Over time, with effort and patience, fractured becomes whole.

    Through repeated structures and sustained images, Spradlin pushes her material to the edge of efficiency. Her choices are simple and compelling only to become disquieting in their relentless unfolding. A shield must be raised to resist being pushed over the edge and walking out (as one couple did). But however unsettling in their immediacy, later these images linger, they vibrate in memory and urge renewed reflection. Myriad ploys may tug our heartstrings and our patience, but we all can relate to the need to rebuild, recover, or simply survive.

    DECEMBER 31, 2007
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Roseanne Spradlin: Survival Cycle:

  • Tasha Taylor   from Hera , Jul 21, 2013

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