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  •  REVIEW: COOL NY 2012

    Tim Ward, Misuzu Hara in Cool NY 2012
    Photo by Pyeunghun Baik
    Tim Ward, Misuzu Hara

    More Cool, More White Wave

    Cool NY 2012 at White Wave


    Cool New York galas feature one or two stellar performances and a near-evening-length piece by the White Wave Young Soon Kim dance company. 2012 starred Suksoon Jung and Hyejung Son in the sort of duet that keeps people watching dance. Standing still, soaking in the lush beauty of slow, layered choral music, the two look ready to begin a soft ballad sort of dance. Instead, they explode. The speed and violence of their partnering punch through the sweet music without destroying it. In an instant, the soaked-in beauty and the intense movement put this man and woman in a relationship of depth and passion and cast a spell on the audience that is never broken. The music changes, but the movement shifts to oppose it each time, implying complexity more than conflict. At times, the two seem to be a conjoined twin trying to separate and never sure they want to. The pyrotechnic movement edges toward spectacle but stays rooted in pathos and connection. Though there are sections of peace and relative quiet, only after blackout do the two end up spread-eagled on their backs, gasping for breath and finally showing the effort they have just put out, before rising to applause.

    COOL NY 2012
    Choreography by: Suksoon Jung, Young Soon Kim, Mei Yamanaka, Rebecca Moore, Aaron McGloin.
    White Wave Theater
    January 25-February 5, 2012

    KM (Kimberly M. Holt) & Company also kept things lively with Plan #73, a really fresh, well-danced piece with 4 women and an excellent Esmond Pickett. In the final half of the gala, WHITE WAVE presented excerpts of Here NOW So Long, with unique live music by Marco Cappelli and video by David Tirosh. Tim Ward and Misuzu Hara create an interesting dynamic between each other and with the time-lapse video captures onscreen behind them. As in the piece as a whole, dynamic interactions and general excitement trump narrative or meaning, and things flow quickly and easily. The music and video work well, adding layers of interest without distracting from the dancing. The strongest section in this version was the trio of Amanda Hinchey, Emily Pope-Blackman and Mei Yamanaka, full of drama but almost playful as well.

    Suksoon Jung and Hyejung Son in Cool NY 2012
    Photo by Pyeunghun Baik
    Suksoon Jung and Hyejung Son

    In Program E in week two, Booger by Mei Yamanaka won the fun prize. It is a silly duet likely to get a few laughs from kids of all ages, as Yamanaka and Misuzu Hara battle in full martial-arts fantasy mode to the point of exhaustion, at which point one sees the other's t-shirt. Until then, the main reason the two fight may be that red hoodie sweatshirts hate green hoodie sweatshirts, but when both realize they are wearing cartoon character "booger" t-shirts, all is good between them and the world is a happy place. Yamanaka seems able to pull off any style, and she and Hara make a good pair.

      Mei Yamanaka in Cool NY 2012
      Photo by Pyeunghun Baik
      Mei Yamanaka
    The rest of the evening was solid, with several choreographers presenting work they have been developing over time at different venues. Rebecca Moore's Boots Duet is a quirky take on boots with magic power, a sort of Red Shoes in reverse. Aaron McGloin ended well with Animal, a dark, sleek but primal quartet of McGloin and Kathryn Logan as the opening and main pair and Christiana Lederman and Jenna Ramey as perhaps a new set of animals. Simmering energy and a pulse of underlying darkness give the whole a tantalizing quality, and a solo by McGloin lets him stir the air with legs seemingly ten feet long.

    FEBRUARY 13, 2012

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