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    Satoshi Haga (back) and Rie Fukuzawa in A.W.A.R.D. Stars
    Photo by Steven Schreiber
    Satoshi Haga (back) and Rie Fukuzawa

    Big Dancing

    The A.W.A.R.D. Show! ALL-STARS at Joyce Soho


    The A.W.A.R.D. Show! All-Stars each showed how they earned their status, in the first two of three programs at Joyce Soho. The overall result is a group of solid pieces performed very well but without fireworks or revelations.

    A.W.A.R.D. STARS
    Choreography by: see review.
    Dancers: Jacqueline Stewart: Charlie Cutler and Grace Whitworth
    Satoshi Haga with Rie Fukuzawa
    Allyson Esposito and Megan Schneeberger with Larisa Eastman and Leah Raffanti
    Makiko Tamura: Ryoji Sasamoto
    Jessica Miller Tomlinson: Jeremy Blair, Brian Hare, Mollie Mack Jacqueline Stewart
    Yin Yue with Carson Reiners, Allison Jones, Yarden Raz
    Joanna Rosenthal: Lori Crosthwait, Charlie Cutler, Adam Gauzza, Liz Jenkins, Erin Kilmurray, Santo Scavuzzo III, Jon Sloven
    Amelia Reeber
    Music by: Daniel Dorobantu for Yin Yue.
    Lighting design by: Asami Morita, Nathan Tomlinson, Amiya Brown, Joyce Soho staff.
    Joyce Soho
    May 31-June 5, 2011

    Flash review, presentation order:

    Jacqueline Stewart: It's Not Enough to Close Your Eyes. Beautiful, strong, dancey male/female duet, she (Grace Whitworth) an especially sparky mover. Musicality and music choices are good, such as little finger/piano accents or the haunting singing voice while she appears damaged/exhausted. Begins and ends intriguingly with a floor-mounted spotlight, used like a ghost-story flashlight.

    Satoshi Haga: Thread. See previous review. Same piece. Felt less dramatic this viewing.

    Allyson Esposito and Megan Schneeberger: Dwelling Quartet. Four women seem birdish and nesty in an active piece with good pacing and variety. Things begin calmly with two and end calmly with four, the two new ones having been fully incorporated. Good music by Birds Inverted.

    Makiko Tamura: 256. A solo featuring Ryoji Sasamoto that goes through a wide range of facial and emotional expressions and some really fast and explosive dancing. Things begin and end with him standing downstage left, after making a journey around the whole stage, almost as if he is a dying man retracing his life. A retro-beautiful slideshow by Akimasa Mitsuishi enhances this sense.

    Jessica Miller Tomlinson: Forget What You Came For? A hard-bodied piece of serious dancing. Tomlinson won Chicago a year before Jacqueline Stewart (above), and Stewart dances in this piece. Rigid synch with a tock-tock-tock, tock-tock rhythm opens and closes things, and deadpan faces and shape-oriented body positions give some Graham severity.

    Yin Yue: Shadow Journal. Dark and anxious. Another foursome dancing seriously, here with a movement palette of spirals and waves. Each takes a solo turn unhelped or untouched by the others, whose curiosity is more clinical than compassionate, with pointing, probing fingers. Ebbs and flows of angst and turmoil are enhanced by movement, music and lighting working seamlessly together.

    Joanna Rosenthal: Drifting for Nomads. Begins brilliantly, with two falling backwards in bright light. There is often a sense that the dancers are struggling to stay on the shifting deck of a ship in a storm. Four men in the cast of seven lend wild physicality at times, though there are plenty of moments of stillness and a shifting range of activity onstage, and a definite sense of group.

    Amelia Reeber: This Is a Forgery. This is also the only disappointment in two nights, though the first half would have made a good piece. Clever video and onstage blurted words give a wacky flavor that works, but the dreaded unedited-solo-syndrome overcomes the strengths and drags things out too far to stay interesting.

    JUNE 6, 2011

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