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  •  REVIEW: KATIE WORKUM: HERKIMER DIAMONDS

    Katie Workum: Herkimer Diamonds
    Photo by Corrine Furman

    Clear Stones and Odd Tales

    Katie Workum's Herkimer Diamonds at DNA

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    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.

      
    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.
     SCHEDULE
    Dance New Amsterdam
    September 30 to October 3, 2010

    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.

    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.

    Anna Carapetyan, with Katie Workum and Katy Pyle in bg in Katie Workum: Herkimer Diamonds
    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.

      Lawrence Cassella, supported by (l-r)Katy Pyle, Katie Workum and Anna Carapetyan in Katie Workum: Herkimer Diamonds
      Photo by Corinne Furman
      Lawrence Cassella, supported by (l-r)Katy Pyle, Katie Workum and Anna Carapetyan
    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.

    OCTOBER 11, 2010
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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