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  •  REVIEW: AKIKO FURUKAWA: ROOM 702

      Jenni Hong (L), Akiko Furukawa and Greg Bruhn in Akiko Furukawa: Room 702
      Photo by Atsunobu Nakada
      Jenni Hong (L), Akiko Furukawa and Greg Bruhn
    Stairs to Nowhere and Magical Things

    Akiko Furukawa finds undercurrents, rip currents and humor

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com


    Akiko Furukawa's Room 702 is a collection of short stories and little dreams that weave a rich world of whimsy and undercurrents. Dance and video interplay, in funny, often absurd, sometimes touching episodes.

    A neverending spiral staircase serves as the base for the video by Kanade Kurozumi and as a metaphor for life and human relationships, but a silly refrigerator video opens the show's first episode, a roommates-from-hell, where-did-my-food-go? rant that intersperses polite surface interactions with violent revenge fantasies. Furukawa and Jenni Hong make excellent comic wronged ones as Greg Bruhn and Rinako Ishikawa sit placid and complicit in comfortable chairs.

    AKIKO FURUKAWA: ROOM 702
    Choreography by: Akiko Furukawa.
    Dancers: Greg Bruhn, Jenni Hong, Rinako Ishikawa, Hannah Seidel and Akiko Furukawa.
    Costumes by: Akiko Furukawa.
    Lighting design by: Miriam Crowe.
    Video: Kanade Kurozumi.

    Related links: CRS
     SCHEDULE
    April 24-26, 2009
    Center for Remembering and Sharing

      
    Each little piece stands on its own but also contributes an extra dimension to the whole. Hong and Bruhn play out a yin-yang hat piece that could be nothing but fun, or a comment on basic personality traits and the interactions of a couple, with magical dark and light/sad and happy hats. Hannah Seidel dances a bad dream with beauty and power. Ishikawa dances a hilariously overwrought solo to Puccini music that illustrates her part in the video staircase. The trio of Furukawa, Hong and Seidel dance an extended girlfight over clothes, equal parts cooperation and competition. A "chicken dance" party appears when a gloomy Bruhn pushes the button on his battery-powered musical toy, glaring at him each time the song ends but leaving him with each of their roses. And Bruhn, like his character in the video, finally reaches the imaginary door of his love interest with the roses, only to have them blow up in his face back in the video, in a beautiful, surreal ending that sums up the feel of the overall piece.

    chickendance and blue Akiko in Akiko Furukawa: Room 702
    Photo by Atsunobu Nakada
    chickendance and blue Akiko

    Furukawa's Room 702 is a place where life and love are trials of futility and exhaustion leavened by humor and beauty, and violent fantasy. The interplay between projected movie and dance segments lends the whole piece a dreamlike quality, like some cross between the movies Amelie and Stranger than Paradise, and Furukawa and each of her dancers create rich characters.

    APRIL 29, 2009
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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