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  •  REVIEW: STRANGE LOVE: EPISODE 5

    Nathan Trice and Tendayi Kuumba in Strange Love: Episode 5
    Photo by Ernesto Mancebo
    Nathan Trice and Tendayi Kuumba

    Strange and Deep

    Episode 5 of Strange Love

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Soft singing and live jazz add love to dance and the music of John Coltrane and Miles Davis, in Strange Love: EPISODES at the Free Candy bar/space in Brooklyn. Nathan Trice, with some well chosen dancers, is exploring courtship, intimacy and love in this series of "visual audio sensory theatrical performance."

      
    STRANGE LOVE: EPISODE 5
    Choreography by: Nathan Trice.
    Dancers: Tendayi Kuumba, Tiffany Mellard, Damani Pompey, Ryoji Sasamoto, Makiko Tamura, Nathan Trice.
    Music by: Lafayette Harris, Jr., Nicolas Letman-Burtinovic, Peter Kronreif.
    Costumes by: David Shen and Keiko Voltaire.
    Production stage manager: Aya Wilson.
    DJ: Eddie Stockton.
    cinematography: Vanja Srdic.
     SCHEDULE
    FreeCandy
    December 14, 2012

    Trice excels at creating immersive multipart dances in non-theater spaces, putting the audience in the middle of the action in a way that is comfortably flexible. He clearly pours his soul into such projects, spending years conceiving and developing them, with performers who share his vision and join him on the journey.

    Episode 5: Eroticism/Memory follows 3 couples, who appear or leave, single or together, in a natural flow. Singing is a large part of the interactions, and the movement shifts easily from casual to dancey to theatrical. As in love, little is literal; the singing is often wordless or abstracted into wordplay.

    Occasionally, though, dancers do very much what the words in a narration or delivered line are saying; it is a bit jarring, an intentional disruption that grabs our attention. This can be humorous, even silly — "nice to bump into you" as Damani Pompey bumps into Tiffany Mellard — or quite powerful, as Ryoji Sasamoto and Makiko Tamura boldly touch and hold erotic parts of the other while locking gazes and pushing boundaries.

    Damani Pompey and Tiffany Mellard in Strange Love: Episode 5
    Photo by Ernesto Mancebo
    Damani Pompey and Tiffany Mellard

    All three women — Mellard, Tamura and Tendayi Kuumba — are revelations as singers, and Tamura and Sasamoto are breathtaking as they dance together. The couple are impressive in their own dance company, but what Trice is able to bring to and receive from them is extraordinary, a beautiful collaboration. All three men — stylish and pristine in white clothes — are fluid and powerful dancers, and Trice sings quite well.

    Quickflicking legwraps are a recurring, tasty item on the movement menu — especially in the tango-intense way Tamura and Sasamoto whip through them — that give just the right touch of connection, conflict and eroticism.

    The jazz trio, the lighting, the artwork around the room, even the drinks at the bar and the music the dj plays before and after the dancing, all feed the Strange Love theme and soak us in the feeling.

    DECEMBER 20, 2012
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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