|Photo by Corrine Furman|
Clear Stones and Odd Tales
Katie Workum's Herkimer Diamonds at DNA
By QUINN BATSON
Herkimer Diamonds are double-terminated quartz crystals first discovered in upstate New York, from Wikipedia. They are often exceptionally clear and attractive, and some people ascribe occult or other powers to them. It's not clear where these diamonds fit in with Katie Workum's new evening-length piece named after them.
Herkimer Diamonds is a pretty, very well crafted, mildly twisted experience, opening and closing in softness. With a sloooowww fadein, rays of light raking the stage diagonally from backstage right serve as origin and path for humans moving in a strange, tiptoed-slumpedover way. There is an underwater, swaying feel as things begin, dancers moving slowly forward and back like sea anemones.
|KATIE WORKUM: HERKIMER DIAMONDS|
|Choreography by: Katie Workum.|
Dancers: Anna Carapetyan, Lawrence Cassella, Katy Pyle, Katie Workum.
Music by: Jenny Seastone Stern, with additional sound design by Katie Workum.
Set design by: Virginia Poundstone.
Costumes by: Kennis Hawkins.
Lighting design by: Amanda K. Ringger.
|Dance New Amsterdam|
September 30 to October 3, 2010
Intriguing oddness describes all of Workum's movement palette, a refreshing quality that keeps things visually interesting. There is no rhyme or reason, though there is a theme of love spawned from disaster that makes for some good tales. Workum always chooses excellent performers, and Anna Carapetyan, Lawrence Cassella and Katy Pyle help her here. Casella tells the tale of Tracy and Matt, she hospitalized by something he did inadvertently to her and they falling in love at the hospital. He then dances and talks his way through a little discussion of marriage and its attraction and how he can't get married because he's gay, and not living in Massachusetts, but who wants to live in Massachusetts when your whole life is here and you're happy.
|Photo by Corrine Furman|
|Anna Carapetyan, with Katie Workum and Katy Pyle in bg|
These diamonds have a langorous attractiveness that is easy on the eyes and ears, and it's certain that when someone opens their mouth to speak, the story will be beguiling. When Katy Pyle tells us, via wedding speech, of how Mark and Trudy met and he saved her life after a piece of glass they were installing at the Prada store sliced her femoral artery, the wry little detail that he lost his job because he used a hand-sewn Muccia Prada dress to stop the bleeding is, actual or not, precisely the sort of thing Workum captures well.
The soundtrack, by Jenny Seastone Stern, is full of bird calls and atmosphere, and it helps keep Diamonds soft and odd. The performers are gentle with each other and generally supportive when others need support, which they often do. This isn't the most striking Workum work, but it is surprisingly soothing.
| ||Photo by Corinne Furman|
| ||Lawrence Cassella, supported by (l-r)Katy Pyle, Katie Workum and Anna Carapetyan|
|OCTOBER 11, 2010|
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