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  •  REVIEW: COOL NY 2011

    Kathryn Logan, Allison Beler, Rachel Rizzuto, Breanna Gribble, Hannah Darrah (L to R) for Mari Meade in Cool NY 2011
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Kathryn Logan, Allison Beler, Rachel Rizzuto, Breanna Gribble, Hannah Darrah (L to R) for Mari Meade

    January Dance Surprises

    Cool NY 2011 at White Wave


    Cool NY is a dance festival in January; who puts on a dance festival in January? Only the indefatigable Young Soon Kim would think that the month most people are hibernating from the holidays and the winter is a good month to produce a two-weekend blitz of dance. And why not? Pieces gestated and born in the fall need a place to find maturity, new choreographers need every chance they can get to show work, and older choreographers need a place to create new work.

    COOL NY 2011
    Choreography by: Amanda Hinchey, Dorrell Martin, Mari Meade, Nicole Smith.
    White Wave
    January 27 — February 6, 2011

    The result is a mix of good and bad suprises, a perfect place to see how ineffable qualities make dances work or not work on any given night. And to see pieces that both work and don't work for the same audience. Program A had pieces, like Amos Pinhasi's, that have the entire audience looking for more, with half happily eating up what he serves and half scratching their heads and looking forward to the next piece. Or what is it that makes one dancey piece with pretty young women in tight black shorts feel slow-motion and low-energy and the next, with a different group of the same, feel sparkling and fresh? On one night of Program F, "A" has innovative movement but feels pulseless, while "B" has recognizable movement but feels unknown. A is, surprisingly, from the often exciting and explosive Yin Yue, and B is, surprisingly, a good mix of Joffrey Ballet School students and Radiohead, choreographed by Dorrell Martin for LEON Contemporary Dance. LEON's Dust in Wong may have simply hit the right note at the right time or there may be something to it. Tiny spaces, in music and movement, give Wong a sharp sense of anticipation, and the students — Alyssa Fulmer, Lydia Guerra, Molly McSherry, Ashley Odom — give the movement a sharp attack.

    Sara Seger and Amanda Hinchey (L to R) in Cool NY 2011  
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu  
    Sara Seger and Amanda Hinchey (L to R)
    Two groups that surprised only by the brilliance of their performances were Amanda Hinchey's and Mari Meade's. Hinchey reprised an excerpt of her Everything Potent is Dangerous, reviewed previously for the Kenan Fellows show, and she and Sara Elizabeth Seger gave the best flatout dancing of the festival and the past 365-plus days. And Mari Meade's ensemble — Allison Beler, Hannah Darrah, Breanna Gribble, Ariel Lembeck, Kathryn Logan and Rachel Rizzuto — brought good dance and good humor to an excerpt of Q & Unfinished Sentences, hitting all the best notes of a large piece that is being developed into an evening-length work and has had two prior showcases.

    Nicole Smith in Cool NY 2011
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Nicole Smith

    But the sort of surprise that best suits Cool NY is the one Nicole Smith created by working with a filmmaker and a composer, Gregory Addo and Phillippe Bronchtein respectively, to make her unique Dreamtime.

    Smith can dance brilliantly, and does in short bursts, but her performance and overall vision make this piece work. Standing still and dark as a film montage of urban snippets plays on the wall behind her, Smith makes slowly rising arms mean something. The film — and dance — is divided into three dreamlike parts: an urban sensory assault; a primal mudbath dance shot overhead and dark; and a peaceful outdoor naturefest. The pairing of film and dance, so difficult to make work, is seamless and immersive here, an impressive collaboration and a beautiful thing.

    FEBRUARY 10, 2011

    Reader comments on Cool NY 2011:

  • Yeah Rachel   from Cathy Navo, Mar 6, 2011

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