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      Asami Morita, Makiko Tamura, Ryoji Sasamoto in Solar-Powered Dance 2010
      Photo by Quinn Batson
      Asami Morita, Makiko Tamura, Ryoji Sasamoto
    Summer Breeze

    Solar-Powered Dance Series program B plays with crazy


    It's summer. Time for outdoor dance festivals big and small. Small and next to water is even better; Solar-Powered Dance Series at the edge of the East River feels like outdoor cabaret with an ocean breeze. The first night of the second week/Program B included six pieces reviewed here in order of appearance.

    Stuyvesant Cove Solar-Powered stage
    July 29-31, 2010

    Mental instability and its physical manifestations seem to be favorite subjects for this tiny series on a tiny stage. Thirst of Ruin by Yesid Lopez puts four spooked women in oversize t-shirts and gives one a head bandage in case we hadn't noticed they're a bit damaged. Big quick vertical leaps punctuate zombie walking, hair-flinging, various convulsings and some group partnering, all in the key of crazy. It's a bit overplayed but mostly fun, with vigorous dancing by Victory Chen, Marissa Frey, Saki Masuda and Natalia Mesa.

    A sweetly intimate and physically demanding duet, What More? by Joseph Celej, is danced convinvingly by Robbie Moore and Mariana Walsh-Doyle, both wearing simple white underwear on their trim white bodies. Though it is clearly strenuous at times, the overall sense is that of young lovers who want to be in physical contact as much as possible, and there is no strife and little eroticism in their happy intertwinings.

    Mana Kawamura, Lize-Lotte Pitlo, Keelin Ryan in Solar-Powered Dance 2010
    Photo by Quinn Batson
    Mana Kawamura, Lize-Lotte Pitlo, Keelin Ryan

    AngermorninG by Mariana Valencia seems intentionally challenging to watch, with Valencia showing little affect and no inclination to entertain, but the rhythmic patternings she makes around the stage become intriguing. She brings anger onstage with her but leaves it unexplained. Small looks, almost sneers, are the only things she projects into the audience, with most of the piece being very self-contained and inward. Her close-shaved head, bright green longtail shirt and canvas slipon shoes pique interest the way her movement does, in a subtle, dare-you-to-like-me way.

    Makiko Tamura's 3, on the other hand, is intentionally entertaining and takes some of the insanity of the first piece on a much faster ride. Asami Morita, Ryoji Sasamoto and Tamura are well matched in haremish capri-length pantskirts and loose jackets or shirts, all in shades of black and grey cotton and credited to Tamura. These comfortable and somewhat odd clothes allow the three to move like banshees having fun, and all three take turns getting their wild on. There is also an undercurrent of collapsing and exhaustion, the flipside of the mania, though often this just brings another element of humor as dancers flop like rag dolls in improbable ways. 3 ends with Morita getting carried off like a rigid windup toy by the other two after she has a little too much fun with her boogiedown.

    Thirst of Ruin in Solar-Powered Dance 2010
    Photo by Quinn Batson
    Thirst of Ruin

    Daniela Hoff took us back to serious with an excerpt from Soliloquy — Solo for Two, a duet performed to a cut-up speech by I.F. Stone about how we seem to repeat our mistakes regarding the environment and each other. Clever editing gives the speech a performance quality of its own, as if it were a Beat-era political poem. Hoff in black dress and Liza Austria in white dress alternate unison and interaction and do a good job of referring tangentially to the speech.

    Cloudburst by Mana Kawamura is another piece with a captivating soundtrack, this one alternating between Japanese children singing, recorded thunder, and music by J.S. Bach. There is plenty of strange falling and pushing by three women in short skirts, button-down shirts and bright red lipstick, here performed by Kawamura, Lize-Lotte Pitlo and Keelin Ryan. This was a pared-down version of a piece reviewed in April.

    JULY 30, 2010

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