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    2017-2018 reviews:


    Katy Orthwein, Hope Davis, Natsuki Arai, Anna Hillengas from Dissolving Anchor in Redshift Dance:<BR>Tell Her/To Stay
    Photo by Steven Schreiber
    Katy Orthwein, Hope Davis, Natsuki Arai, Anna Hillengas from "Dissolving Anchor"

    Tonight's Special: Fishnets and Folk Songs

    RedShift Dance "Tell Her/To Stay"


    "Tell Her/To Stay" offered three courses for consumption, the first two prepared by Kelly Hayes and the final by Katy Orthwein:

    Choreography by: Katy Orthwein and Kelly Hayes.
    Dancers: Kelly Hayes, Katy Orthwein, Alyssa Alpine, Natsuki Arai, Hope Davis, Anna Hillengas, Hanna Kivioja, Christina Noel Reaves, Ariel Rogoff Flavin .
    Music by: Cynthia Hopkins.
    Production design by: Mary McKenzie.
    Art direction by: Mary McKenzie.
    Costumes by: Mary McKenzie.
    Film: Janusz Jawarski.
    Joyce Soho June 26-29, 2008

    Hors d'Oeuvre

    Wonder, a brand new dance (2006) A buoyant blond bounces onstage swishing her yellow chiffon skirt to David Bowie's "Little Wonder". Without ado, she is swept into an organized frenzy of tossed limbs, swirling hips and effusive drop rolls. Kelly Hayes, also the choreographer, resembles a pinball in mad momentum, smacking against invisible blockades, rebounding, and rolling away to start again. Just when we begin to wonder how Hayes can keep it up, she is joined by two more chiffon-clad partners-in-crime. Somewhat cooler and more mechanical, Hanna Kivioja and Katy Orthwein take up the stride, later whirling and twirling through bubbles blown by Hayes. Often goggling outward, these performers exude a sophomoric sense of innocence and wonder — fitting, I suppose, considering the title, but this once "new dance" is now a fun, frivolous appetizer simply whetting our appetites for real substance.

    Hanna Kivioja, Kelly Hayes, Ariel Rogoff Flavin from It's not like we can't dress her up in fishnets and tell her what to do in Redshift Dance:<BR>Tell Her/To Stay
    Photo by Steven Schreiber
    Hanna Kivioja, Kelly Hayes, Ariel Rogoff Flavin from "It's not like we can't dress her up in fishnets and tell her what to do"


    "It's not like we can't dress her up in fishnets and tell her what to do" (2008) With more perkiness than should be possible, Hayes campaigns the audience, passing out flyers in earnest supplication, "Please vote for me!". Like all good candidates for office, she promptly sets about showing us what she can do. A pointed foot here, a high kick there, Hayes' talent show is amply peppered with toothy grins that make polished love to her constituents. Gradually her solo descends into sportive postures worthy of Olympic ambition; a runners crouch, a gymnastic dash. Pulling together two timely contests, the piece seems at first to be a witty commentary on the perversity of public seduction. But the dance never quite blossoms. Later Hayes is accosted and forcefully transformed into a poofy-haired, glitter strewn Barbie-in-heels. Looking somewhat less comfortable, she must now compete American Idol-style with her newfound competitors. Summarily rejected, Hayes leaves the stage and the remaining candidates restart the cycle. While initially entertaining, Hayes' vision lacks a satirical backbone. Instead, her dances remain superficial in a predictable, "it's not like we haven't seen this dance before" fashion.

    Plat de Resistance

    Dissolving Anchor (2008) Katy Orthwein's Dissolving Anchor picks up some slack in the second half of the program. With original music, video projection and text, the piece takes a more complex approach, weaving its media into a fabric of wistful nostalgia. In a dance for 5 women, Orthwein is the focal point and the most compelling to watch as she sings, glides and floats amidst the others. Shadowy landscapes shroud pensive, almost careful movement. Mary McKenzie's layered dresses are neatly feminine and complement Cynthia Hopkin's folksy lyrics that wail plaintively from Orthwein's lips. The dance recounts vignettes that swirl into a search for solace and certainty in an uncertain world. Particularly striking was Janusz Jawarski's film, which provided ongoing commentary and intriguing perspectives of the dance along the back wall. Although the text felt manipulating at times and the vocals were occasionally off-key, the video could always be trusted for subtle, sophisticated balance.

    Co-directed by two mildly seasoned New York artists, RedShift's dances still await full maturation. "Tell Her/To Stay" offered several sweet gems that fail to ferment beyond established convention. Kelly Hayes and Katy Orthwein succeed in teasing their audience with select moments of depth and beauty that resonate. These seeds are promising and with a sprinkle of innovation may harbor a garden of future possibility.

    JULY 16, 2008

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    Tell Her/To Stay"