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  •  REVIEW: COOL NY 2010

    DaNaKa Dance, Kuan-Yu Chen and Mor Gur-Arie facing off in Cool NY 2010
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    DaNaKa Dance, Kuan-Yu Chen and Mor Gur-Arie facing off

    Cool and Hot

    Cool New York 2010 Program C brings it


    Strong from start to finish is not always the way to describe a session at Cool NY, or any dance series with disparate choreographers sharing an evening. Program C at the 2010 version of Cool NY, one of the annual dance showcases at White Wave, fits this description, though.

    COOL NY 2010
    Choreography by: Dana Katz, Anne Burnidge, YelleB, Ashley Suttlar Martin, Maureen Glennon, Katherine Richardson.
    Dancers: DaNaKa Dance: Kuan-Yu Chen, Tammy Carrasco, Chihiro Shimizu, Tzu-Ying Lee and Mor Gur-Arie
    Anne Burnidge Dance: Stephanie Mellinger, Christina Walsh, Janet Werther
    YelleB Dance Ensemble: Ella Ben-Aharon and Edo Ceder
    Suttlar Martin: Ashley Suttlar Martin
    moe-tion dance theater: Rachel Brown, Kyra Kennaugh, Bryan Matland
    kerPlunk: Michelle DuVall, Jenny Gillan, Samantha Harvey, Meghan MacAlpine, Katharine Richardson, Sarah Weichman
    White Wave John Ryan Theater
    January 27 "" February 7, 2010

    DaNaKa Dance by Dana Katz opened with Old Cherry Blossom, a deceptively dark piece that begins playfully and ends in conflict and banishment. Lanterns brought onstage by each of five dancers at the start of the piece give the piece a nighttime setting, but this is an active nighttime, like that of a hot place only bearable at night. A rich and spare score by Ophir Leibovitch conveys life and tension. And smooth quick dancing by Kuan-Yu Chen, Tammy Carrasco, Chihiro Shimizu, Tzu-Ying Lee and Mor Gur-Arie give plenty of energy and flow as they play like kittens in mock skirmishes. At some point things turn serious as Gur-Arie becomes the bad girl and Chen the group protector, and duets between the two are full of electricity and tension. There is just enough smoky tension and lurking warmth throughout this piece to keep viewers riveted.

    Anne Burnidge Dance Close Enough uses lonely choral music to give an immediate emotional place to three women in black, spinning and swinging each other to floor in soft contact work that flows. A possible narrative of one in struggle and two in aid gives plenty of opportunity for drama and warmth. More active strings give later action further energy, and the piece has good motion throughout.

    Ashley Suttlar Martin in Cool NY 2010  
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu  
    Ashley Suttlar Martin
    YelleB Dance Ensemble, apparently a dance couple, give Animus plenty of yearning love and a theme of hearts in synchrony, with a single chair used to set up the idea that each supports the other, literally here, physically and emotionally. It is a rich piece, soaked in love.

    Suttlar Martin/4thrightdance In the Sole is a solo of identity, narrated. The main point of someone's mama, "do it right or not at all", is well heeded here. Recollections of family members and family stories feed a moving Ashley Suttlar Martin as she dances a soulful melange of forebear wisdom and personal witness.

    Maureen Glennon/moe-tion dance theater Want is probably a love triangle. That and songs by Edith Piaf could lead to melodrama, but this is a refreshing piece danced well by Rachel Brown, Kyra Kennaugh and Bryan Matland, three powerfully built smallish people who mix it up smoothly and stylishly. There is no lack of passion in the dancing or interactions, and the Frenchness here works without getting kitsch.

    kerPlunk Scapes implies human and emotional landscapes, here with six women opening in a static tableau like an epic sculpture. This, too, with well traveled music by Arvo Part and Phillip Glass, could easily go down the road more traveled but manages to go the other way. Here the soaring music competes with scenes from Dante's infernos, with constant spinning and sliding to ground implying group struggle and thwarted escape. This piece manages to be both pretty and stormy, an interesting combination, and the mixture of momentary poses and swirling motion also work well.

    FEBRUARY 2, 2010

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