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  •  REVIEW: WAVE RISING 2010

    Shola Roberts and Otis Donavan Herring in Malcolm Low's Uneven Wall in Wave Rising 2010
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Shola Roberts and Otis Donavan Herring in Malcolm Low's Uneven Wall

    Ghosts and Stories

    Wave Rising at White Wave

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Wave Rising is, as the name implies, a much less frenetic dance festival than the others that Young Soon Kim puts together at White Wave. The pieces are generally 20 minutes long and have plenty of time to develop and unfold. The following represents 2 of the 6 programs presented over 3 weekends, two programs per weekend.

      
    WAVE RISING 2010
    Choreography by: Malcom Low, Aaron Selissen and Kyla Barkin, Lenora Lee, Keith A. Thompson, Becca Alaly, Yong Chul Kim.
    Dancers: Malcolm Low: Otis Donavan Herring, Emily Oldak, Carson Reiners, Malcolm Low, Milan Misko, Anna Schone, Yin Yue
    Barkin/Selissen: Katie Aggen, Kyla Barkin, Naoki Inui, Aaron Selissen, Matthew Sparks, Yin Yue
    Lenora Lee: Lee, Marina Fukushima, Kevin Ho, Paul Laurey
    danceTactics: Jeff Jacobs and Sara Roer
    Becca Alaly: Javier Baca, Rebecca Bone, Daniel Kublick
    Kim Yong Chul: Yong Chul Kim, Heejung Lee, Jinju Song-Begin, Shen chien hui, Unjin Kim, Jiyen Kim
    .
     SCHEDULE
    White Wave John Ryan Theater
    October 20 to November 7

    Malcom Low uses his time well in The Uneven Wall/False Security Home. And he used his dancers well, especially Otis Donovan Herring and Shola Roberts, from Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, who give this piece soul and heart. The story of the piece, teased out bit by bit over the course of 20 minutes, is about Mr. Anonymous, a black gay teenager in his first relationship with an older man. Spirituals in the soundtrack and solos by Herring and Roberts keep things black, but the talented cast is a mix, like the pile of clothes onstage, which dancers continually change in and out of. Breaks in the narration and music that have Low using a live microphone to exhort dancers also keep things fresh visually and emotionally. Things come together well, in a satisfyingly slow end sequence that has, maybe, a ghost crossing upstage slowly to bury itself in the clothes and emerging at the end to become the 16-year-old Low/Mr. Anonymous, hanging/dancing on and around the 38-year-old Joe Brown/Low in a wistful look back at a good man gone, unappreciated by an oblivious youth.

    Daniel Kublick, Rebecca Bone and Javier Baca in Becca Alaly's Perfect Boulder in Wave Rising 2010  
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu  
    Daniel Kublick, Rebecca Bone and Javier Baca in Becca Alaly's Perfect Boulder
      
    Barkin/Selissen Project's SH2 also may end wistfully. Much of the movement is beautiful, especially in the beginning, with dramatic lifts and falls in an overall quiet, slow ambience, with a sort of distant primordial roar as the soundtrack. It is hard to follow, though, especially in a middle section of solos by first Kyla Barkin and then Aaron Selissen, dancing in front of a video montage of life and death and the cosmos that feels too generic to make a coherent point. Selissen's solo gets leapy and intense and leads to a group jump workout that burns itself out before an even quieter ending, with 3 softly spotlit couples lolling against each other and a tender Yin Yue kissing her partner's hair.

    Lenora Lee uses video more successfully in an excerpt from Passages: For Lee Ping To, her homage to her grandmother and the story of her immigration to the U.S. through Angel Island. There is a mixture of literal and poetic in the movement and in the video, but a duet between Kevin Ho and Paul Laurey is a welcome masculine break and a softly explosive solo by Marina Fukushima, as the conflicted young woman entering a new land and a new identity, is exciting and moving.

    Kim Yong Chul/SEOP Dance Company in Wave Rising 2010
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Kim Yong Chul/SEOP Dance Company

    Keith Thompson gives Jeff Jacobs and Sara Roer two stools to illustrate a complicated relationship in All Things Big Dream. Plenty of soft, slow piano and string music, and soft light, give much of this dream a floating feeling. The simplicity of the stools keeps things present, and the subtle gymnastics the two do with the stools is slightly dangerous and often evocative. They do seem to find peace, seated softly together at the end.

    On the other side of the universe, vibe-wise, Becca Alaly's The Perfect Boulder is a meteor streaking through space, about to hit Earth. Manic emcee Daniel Kublick entertains us with his vivid imagination, or at least his vivid delivery, as the text is attributed to Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and the piece is conceived and directed by Becca Alaly and Mike Donahue. While Javier Baca and Rebecca Bone writhe and contort in dancerly ways, Kublick relates the tale of Rabbit and Sea Turtle, 2nd cousins once removed with a coke habit in between. Meanwhile, some disaster is heading our way, its arrival imminent. Or so the story goes. It's absurd stuff, but it's really well done and easy to enjoy.

    A Man's Requiem by Kim Yong Chul/SEOP Dance Company takes itself much more seriously. Four intense, kneeling women, with thousand-yard stares, face us with sheets of thin white paper in front of them and proceed to violently but methodically scrunch the paper into flower-shaped headresses and then "flowers" that they tape to the floor in front of themselves. These ghostly white-clad creatures then disperse and spook the space, while men in black emerge from hiding behind black drapes on the backstage wall. It is all fairly mysterious and dramatic, with some beautiful theatrical effects that include a fabric-generated windstorm of big white confetti flakes, a good endpiece to the final evening of the series.

    NOVEMBER 12, 2010
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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