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  •  REVIEW: THREE AT THE TANK

    Mari Meade Dance (L to R) Kathryn Logan, Ariel Lembeck, Rachel Rizzuto, Breanna Gribble, Allison Beler in Three at the Tank
    Photo by Quinn Batson
    Mari Meade Dance (L to R) Kathryn Logan, Ariel Lembeck, Rachel Rizzuto, Breanna Gribble, Allison Beler

    Voice or No or Noise

    Three choreographers share two evenings at The Tank

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Mari Meade Dance play with questions, language and shifting expectations in Questions and Unfinished Sentences, a bold shift for a young company that has previously made very movement-oriented work. And the shift works. A cacaphony of questions opens the evening in this performance at The Tank, as a lineup of five women all speak at once. All get more and more demonstrative until Allison Beler breaks out a brief, sharp solo. There are movement interactions and some group dancing, but this is essentially a performance piece. The peak performance comes from Rachel Rizzuto, who channels a Japanese schoolteacher, some Russian grande dame/ballet master and a manically addled Broadway singer in a hilarious stretch that has her lecturing a group of kneeling students. Subtle shifts make this piece a joy to watch, whether it is Rizzutto slipping bits of recognizable phrases or Broadway tunes into the middle of gibberish, or in the really fun transition from an emphatic and unanimous group "no" to an almost hysterically excited group "yes".

      
    THREE AT THE TANK
    Choreography by: Mari Meade, Chelsea Bonosky and Zoe Blake, Christina Noel Reaves.
    Dancers: Mari Meade: Allison Beler, Hannah Darrah (Friday only), Breanna Gribble, Ariel Lembeck, Kathryn Logan, Mari Meade, Rachel Rizzuto
    Chelsea Bonosky and Zoe Blake
    Christina Noel Reaves: Kimberly Bechtold, Elizabeth Beres, Emily Budd, Clare Cook, Cameron Mizell, Krista Racho-Jansen, ChristinaNoel Reaves, Elliott Reiland, Stephen Joshua Thompson, and Mika Yanagihara
    .
    Music by: Meade: BL Lacerta Music Ensemble; Reaves: Cameron Mizell and Reaves.
    Lighting design by: Rob Ross (Meade); Greg Goss (Reaves).
     SCHEDULE
    The Tank
    December 16 and 17, 2010

    Chelsea Bonosky and Zoe Blake keep their voices silent and their bodies speaking in Boxed In. This performance is an intriguing mix of dark lighting and soft music with very physical dancing, with elements of birdlike movements and facing a struggle together. Boxed In does convey that feeling; the soundtrack is often soft enough that the audience in the intimate Tank theater can hear the duo's joints flexing, and the low light gives things an underground or enclosed-space feel. The tension is palpable and beautiful.

    Christina Noel Reaves puts several scenes into Passing Moment, Intimate Strangers, almost like a multi-act play. Shifting tableaux of intimate strangers preface the piece, like a dance version of a scrolling pre-action movie narration. This is the only part of the piece, though, that feels like a series of passing moments involving intimate strangers. Reaves sends the group off to begin an overlong call-and-response with guitarist/composer Cameron Mizell. The dissonance of her human voice trying to echo guitar feedback is wrenching but intriguing at first, but it feels like twenty minutes of this happens, which makes us begin to wonder what the other people were doing onstage earlier. When Elliot Reiland and Stephen Joshua Thompson begin a very strange duet, the only thing that ties them to the dancer/guitar duet is strangled, choking vocalizations and live guitar music. Perhaps Mika Yanagihara's impressively flailing solo that follows, with the anonymous group looking on, is the third act, to follow the shredded-voice first and the choking second. Remarkable explosions of energy leave Yanagihara gasping in a pile on the floor, and it is not clear if the onlookers feel her pain or ignore it.

    Chelsea Bonosky (L) and Zoe Blake in Three at the Tank  
    Photo by Quinn Batson  
    Chelsea Bonosky (L) and Zoe Blake
      
    The Tank is a tiny non-profit theater on 45th Street on the edge of the theater district that has become a solid first-line venue for small and starting groups to show work. Its intimacy and quirkiness feel right and give it some of the flavor of the previously tiny DTW, before the shiny new building replaced the old.

    Christina Noel Reaves and Cameron Mizell in Three at the Tank
    Photo by Quinn Batson
    Christina Noel Reaves and Cameron Mizell

    DECEMBER 20, 2010
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Three at the Tank:

  • Chelsea Bornosky   from suzanne johnston, Jan 9, 2011

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