offoffoff dance



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Dance section
  • Dance main page
  • Dance archive

    Current dance

  • 277DanceProject: This is Heaven to Me
  • A.W.A.R.D. Stars
  • Aaron McGloin: Lamina
  • Aaron McGloin: Native
  • Akiko Furukawa: Room 702
  • Alley of the Dolls [this is not a Sequel]
  • Anchors and Ties
  • Antonio Ramos: Almodovar Dystopia
  • Aretha Aoki and Benjamin Kimitch
  • BAADass Women Festival
  • Banana Peel Dance: Dinner Party
  • The Barnard Project 2010
  • Batsheva: Hora
  • Belinda McGuire
  • Bennyroyce Royon: Chronos Project
  • Bloom: City
  • Body Collider: Bare Knuckle High Fashion
  • Brian Brooks
  • Brian Brooks Moving Company 2012
  • Bryn Cohn: Skin
  • Burr Johnson
  • Chavasse Dance and Performance
  • Chris Schlichting: Stripetease
  • ChristinaNoel and the Creature
  • Chunky Move: Faker
  • Chunky Move: Mortal Engine
  • Cool NY 2011
  • Cool NY 2012
  • Current Sessions: 03Savings
  • The Current Sessions: Volume 1
  • Da-on Dance: Thirst
  • Dance Apocalypse: Solos
  • Dance Gallery 2013
  • Dance Gallery 2015
  • Dance Gallery Festival
  • Dance Gallery Festival 2012
  • Dance Now 2015
  • Dance Now 2019
  • Dance Sampler 2
  • DanceNow 2011
  • DanceNow 2011 Two
  • Dancenow 2012
  • DanceNow 2013
  • DanceNow 2014
  • DanceNow 2016
  • DanceNow 2017
  • DanceNow 2018
  • Daniel Gwirtzman: The Oracle
  • DaOn Dance: Root
  • David Appel and Daniela Hoff: Take Root
  • The Dinner Party: A Whodunnit Cabaret
  • Donnell Oakley Magnificent Marginal
  • Donnell Oakley: Sure
  • DorothyAnnieMaria
  • Doug Varone and Dancers 2017
  • Dumbo Dance 2010
  • Dumbo Dance 2011
  • Dumbo Dance Festival 2012
  • Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming
  • Faye Driscoll: There is so much mad in me
  • Faye Driscoll: You r Me
  • Festival Twenty Ten
  • Festival Twenty Ten Too
  • FLICfest 2012
  • FLICfest 2013
  • Fresh Tracks 2010
  • Fresh Tracks 2011
  • Gallim: Sit, Kneel, Stand
  • Gerald Casel: Fluster and Plot
  • Gotham Dance Sampler 1
  • Green Space:
    Take Root

  • Gwen Gussman: Nourishment
  • HATCHed WAX: two to view
  • Heather Olson: Shy Showoff
  • Hilary Easton: The Constructors
  • Hurricane Party
  • Hyperbolic!
  • Jeanine Durning: To Being
  • Jenni Hong:
  • Jody Oberfelder: The Soldier's Tale
  • John Jasperse: Canyon
  • Jonah Bokaer: Rules of the Game
  • Jonathan Pratt
  • Julian Barnett: Sound Memory
  • Julie Bour: Why Now?
  • Katie Workum: Black Lakes
  • Katie Workum: Fruitlands
  • Katie Workum: Herkimer Diamonds
  • Katy Orthwein and Aaron McGloin
  • Keigwin and Wolcott: Places Please
  • Keigwin+Company 2012
  • kerPlunk and Friends
  • Kidd Pivot: Dark Matters
  • Kota Yamazaki: Rays of Space
  • Kyle Abraham: Heartbreaks and Homies
  • Larry Keigwin: Exit
  • Lincoln Center Kenan Fellows
  • lmno3:BANGS
  • Lucy Guerin: Structure and Sadness
  • Lucy Guerin: Untrained
  • Magda and Chelsea: The Vulgar Early Works
  • Mari Meade and Companies
  • Mari Meade and Gierre Godley
  • Mari Meade and Teresa Fellion
  • Mari Meade: Not My Home
  • Mark Dendy: Labyrinth
  • Mark Dendy: NYny Astor Place
  • martha clarke: angel reapers
  • Martha Graham Company 2016
  • The Median Movement: JACK Rally
  • The Median Movement: X
  • Mei Yamanaka Works: Sunflower
  • Merce Cunningham
  • Miguel Gutierrez: And lose the name of action
  • Mina Nishimura
  • MokdessiWagner and Kawamura
  • Nathan Trice: Recognizing Women Project
  • Neta Dance: 2280 Pints!
  • newsteps 2013
  • newsteps 2014
  • Newsteps 2017
  • Newsteps 2018
  • newsteps 2019
  • Nicole Wolcott: 100 Beginnings
  • Nicole Wolcott: Paper Pieces
  • NLD: The Whiz
  • Only Human: Christine Bonansea
  • Ori Flomin: First Move
  • Oui Danse: French Amour
  • Patricia Noworol Dance: Circuits
  • Perforations Festival
  • Performance Mix 2013
  • Performance Mix 2017
  • Performance Mix Festival 2010
  • Performance Mix Festival 2018
  • Petronio 2012
  • Petronio: Underland
  • Pina Bausch: Vollmond
  • ponydance: Anybody Waitin?
  • The Principles of Uncertainty
  • Project RUIN
  • Purchase Company 2013
  • Ralph Lemon: How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?
  • Raw Directions 2012
  • Raw Directions 2013
  • Relative Soul: Two Takes
  • Richard Move: Martha 1963
  • RoseAnne Spradlin: beginning of something
  • Sam Kim: Sister to a Fiend
  • Sarah Skaggs Dance: The New Ecstatic
  • Sarah Skaggs: Roving 911 Memorial
  • Shamel Pitts: Black Velvet
  • Shannon Gillen & Guests: Clap for the Wolfman
  • Shannon Gillen: A Colored Image of the Sun
  • Shen Wei Dance Arts
  • small apple co.
  • Splice: Japan
  • Stephen Petronio 2014
  • Stephen Petronio 2015
  • Stephen Petronio 2016
  • Stephen Petronio: LLD 430
  • Strange Love: Episode 5
  • Take Dance
  • Take Root: Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan
  • Take Root: Mei Yamanaka and Angel Chinn
  • Tere OConnor: Bleed
  • TheCraft
  • This One Goes Out To You
  • Tiffany Mills Company
  • Tiffany Mills: After the Feast
  • Tiffany Mills: The Blue Room
  • Triskelion Collaborations
  • Two at Abrons
  • Two at Dixon Place
  • Tykulsker Cora
  • tykulskerdean
  • Valerie Green/Dance Entropy
  • Valerie Green: Impermanent Landscape
  • Vim Vigor: Forever
  • Walter Dundervill: Candy Mountain
  • Wave Rising 2011
  • William Forsythe at BAM
  • William Forsythe: Decreation
  • Women in Motion 2012
  • Wrought Iron Fog
  • Yoshiko Chuma and Rebecca Lazier
  • Zvidance: Dabke+Coupling
  • ZviDance: Zoom


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2018-2019 reviews:


    Levi Gonzalez, Erin Gerken, Heather Olson (L-R) in Heather Olson: Shy Showoff
    Photo by Ryutaro Mishima
    Levi Gonzalez, Erin Gerken, Heather Olson (L-R)

    Odd Family

    Heather Olson is the Shy Showoff at Chocolate Factory


    So much of Heather Olson's Shy Showoff feels like family. Not the smiling apple-pie family of '50s TV but the odd, morphing family of every day. This is the kids at home playing and competing in the 90 percent of the time their parents aren't around.

    Choreography by: Heather Olson.
    Dancers: Heather Olson, Erin Gerken, Levi Gonzalez.
    Production design by: James Lo.
    Sound design by: James Lo.
    Lighting design by: Chloe Z. Brown.
    Video editing: Dianna Dilworth.
    The Chocolate Factory
    September 21-24, 2011

    Olson and "siblings" Levi Gonzalez and Erin Gerken enter together and shut us out, first, backs to us. As the other two remain statues, Olson begins to crawl backward and explore small movements, looking more and more like a bird as she ends up in a brighter-lit space at the back of the stage, casting larger shadows as her movements get a bit bigger. She is in her own room, trying on different personas, making out with the wall for practice or fantasy, dancing with upraised power arms while no one can see and shame them down.

    Meanwhile, impressively imperceptibly, Gerken and Gonzalez have been moving from a passive stand to an active one, and finally begin to move, swaying like trees in the wind, rooted in place. Gerken, as the sexy supercompetent sister (or alter-ego), dances a strong solo, sometimes with kitteh-claw hands, that ends, hilariously, in a soundtrack hiss with a claw swipe. James Lo plays with little bits of sound like this for much of the piece, breaking long silences with a humorous zap, like the whip sound that accompanies a well-timed kick, once. And Gonzalez remains the quiet, slightly odd brother that plays gamely and holds his own just enough to keep his spot in the family.

    Levi Gonzalez, Heather Olson, Erin Gerken (L-R) in Heather Olson: Shy Showoff
    Photo by Ryutaro Mishima
    Levi Gonzalez, Heather Olson, Erin Gerken (L-R)

    Backward crawling is strangely prominent in Shy Showoff, turning the three into infants or vaguely animal creatures. Two of the creatures have a showoff showdown, pawing the ground with back feet but never fighting. Creaking doors accompany much of this.

    What feels like a home movie recording of Olson dancing in front of friends and family becomes a mirror and an extra dimension as first Olson and then Gerken as well begin to mimic the movie dancer. At one point, the three are in remarkable sync, with no strong visual or sonic cues, a testament to how skilled these two are. Again, there is the dynamic of Olson, shy in the background, then the movie version of herself performing for an intimate group, and Gerken out in front of the theater audience as the more confident sister/aspect of the shy showoff.

    Erin Gerken and Levi Gonzalez in Heather Olson: Shy Showoff
    Photo by Ryutaro Mishima
    Erin Gerken and Levi Gonzalez

    The sisters end up in the bedroom, playing a slow but intense game of slaphands, until the brother joins them. A 3-way pushoff morphs to a 2-way pushoff leaving Olson alone, and the 3 then melt and pour together variously, eventually with the sibs sitting obediently to be pet-patted on the head by Olson.

    The end section, beginning as the sibs look up from their supine positions, is a classic bedroom rockout to that classic girl voice of Chrissy Hynde singing of "all my sorrow" in the way only the Pretenders could, with power and liquid pathos. The three exhaust themselves with high kicks and manic jumping around, wearing strongman arms and kitteh hands, leaving Olson alone, to crawl quietly backwards into the first row of the audience, shy again.

    What a little showoff. What an odd and endearing evening.

    SEPTEMBER 28, 2011

    Post a comment on "Heather Olson: Shy Showoff"