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  •  REVIEW: GOTHAM DANCE SAMPLER 1

      Faye Driscoll and Jesse Zaritt in Gotham Dance Sampler 1
      Photo by Christopher Duggan
      Faye Driscoll and Jesse Zaritt
    Pretty, Funny, Talky

    Kyle Abraham,
    Faye Driscoll and The DASH Ensemble are Gotham Dance Sampler #1


    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com


    The first of two "summer sampler matinees" at the Joyce, part of the Gotham Dance Festival produced by Ken Maldonado, was an afternoon well spent.

    Kyle Abraham is good with the slow, the fast, and the pretty, in The Quiet Dance. He opens, quietly, with slowly developing soft arm flicks and occasional quick spins. In soft light, two women in yellow enter a different part of the stage, in costumes similar to his simple blue one, and begin to play off him without interacting with him, moving fast while he is slow, or the other way round. Subtle and varied entrances and exits bring Abraham and the other four dancers on and off really well, in different groupings but with Abraham never fully dancing with the others. A quietly evolving change in costumes, from he in blue and they in yellow to he in yellow and they in blue, is intriguing. Soft light predominates, but lighting design by Dan Scully uses touches of bright light well, as in a moment when Abraham continues in soft light while a beautiful spotlit duet takes centerstage and owns it. Juxtapositions like this and the subtle shift of costumes are two elements that give this dance its flavor. The palette is delicate and tasty.

    GOTHAM DANCE SAMPLER 1
    Choreography by: Kyle Abraham, Faye Driscoll, Gregory Dolbashian.
    Produced by: Ken Maldonado.
    Dancers: Kyle Abraham: with Chalvar Montiero, Elyse Morris, Rachelle Rafailedes, Hsiao-Jou Tang
    Faye Driscoll: with Jesse Zaritt
    The DASH Ensemble: Antonio Brown, Mor Gur-Arie, Alexandra Johnson, Rebecca Niziol, Christopher Ralph
    .
    Costumes by: Kristi Wood (Abraham); Jessica Pabst (Driscoll); Christopher Vergara (DASH).
    Lighting design by: Dan Scully (Abraham); Amanda K. Ringger (Driscoll).
     SCHEDULE
    Joyce Theater
    June 4 and 5, 2011

      
    Delicate is not the word for Faye Driscoll's Not. . . Not (Part 1):, a broadly funny take on the dynamics between man and woman and sex, but it is certainly tasty. Things begin quietly enough, with both at the back wall, often moving in slow motion, interacting oddly. Perhaps it is he, for instance, who uses his head against the back of her knees to move her forward a bit, while she may grab his flaccid hand to caress her face clumsily. Long pauses add humor as the two, Driscoll and Jesse Zaritt, get themselves in or out of synch. Nothing obvious or literal ever gets things to X, but all is slyly recognizable, especially when it is silly. When the absurdity and disconnection start to take over, though, the two take off in perfect dancey unisons, nice touches of levity and joy. Two segments stick. One: she downstage, lounging and bored, he upstage doing a wild rodeo dance. She slowly moves closer to him and ends up with her back to him as he, spent, embraces her (she: 'Thanks, honey, that was [yawn] great.') Two: she straddling his kneeling neck, riding on his shoulders. In an ever-increasing frenzy, she tries on different fantasy personas with wigs, shawls, veils and shades, until he disappears and ends up against the back wall, clapping as she finishes. Then we all do, laughing and applauding her performance and the piece.

    (L-R) Elyse Morris and Rachelle Rafailedes for Kyle Abraham in Gotham Dance Sampler 1
    Photo by Christopher Duggan
    (L-R) Elyse Morris and Rachelle Rafailedes for Kyle Abraham

    Gregory Dolbashian's Like the Eagle is dominated by interview snippets from "Live, Breathe, Work, Design," which share various people's ideas of how one stays creative and becomes an excellent creator. Unfortunately, this means the movement onstage sometimes goes unnoticed. There is plenty of movement onstage, too — very active, dancey movement by good dancers. Eagle coheres but doesn't connect on a visceral level; the structure feels fine, but even really big dancing feels impactless and vaguely empty.

    JUNE 9, 2011
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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