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    (Des)pair in Dance Gallery 2013
    Photo by Melissa Bartucci

    Beauty in Small Numbers

    Dance Gallery's Up Close evening at Ailey Theater


    Dance Gallery takes dancing very seriously — narrative, pure-dance pieces predominate — but there is enough humor and emotional accuracy to take this beyond an exercise of gorgeous dance bodies doing technically impressive feats.

    Choreography by: Mallory Lynn and Brendan Duggan, Kate Bishop, Andy Noble, Dionne Noble, Brittany Thetford, Tori Duhaime, Omar Roman de Jesus, Jacqueline Stewart, Alenka Cizmesija, Teresa Fellion, Alia Kache, Dorcas Roman, Jamal Jackson, Laura E. Harrell.
    Dancers: Nate Hunt, Carley Marholin, Corey Bliss, Daniel Chenowith, Julia Jurgilewicz, Samantha Barriento, Chelsea Blakeburn, Chloe Crade, Julian Devine, Karina Ikezoe, Dana Thomas, Gabrielle Wilson, Abby Douglass, Nick Katen, Sarah Stanley, Shelby Terrell, Kate Bishop, Travis Sisk, Rachel Hutto, Travis Prokop, Jordan Brown, Bria Tyner, Sarita Apel, Omar Roman, Jacqueline Stewart, Joshua Manculich.
    Artistic Directors: Astrid von Ussar and Mojca Ussar.
    Associate Artistic Director: Andy Noble.
    Associate Artistic Adviser: Colleen Cintron.
    Ailey Citigroup Theater
    October 11-13, 2013

    The first half of UP Close was beautiful and well danced, but, though well crafted, turned no new pages. IF by Alenka Cizmsija uses an onstage scrim as an element for shadows and dreams, in a pretty duet. Control Dominion by Teresa Fellion had plenty of movement, with pace variations. Lost.Found. by Alia Kache is another pretty romance. Soul Mates by Dorcas Roman dances a more troubled relationship. Mile 21 by Jamal Jackson brings an entire drum corps onstage, which is both noisy and odd but does lend extra energy, and dancer Dana Thomas dazzles. And Laura E. Harrell uses a large fishbowl of water in Milestones & Monuments, danced fetchingly but dutifully by Abby Douglass.

    The second half went a step further. A Rib Where Her Voice Had Been brought some satisfying, downtown strangeness to this uptown theater.

    A Rib Where Her Voice Had Been in Dance Gallery 2013  
    Photo by Melissa Bartucci  
    A Rib Where Her Voice Had Been
    Choreographers Mallory Lynn and Brendan Duggan, aka LoudHoundMovement, put dancers Nick Katen, Sarah Stanley and Shelby Terrell through a series of odd encounters and movements that added up to endearing and clever.

    Marriage Vows and Other Addictions, though firmly in the narrative, dancey camp, stayed captivating throughout, with choreographer Kate Bishop and partner Travis Sisk putting pathos and care into a piece that touched on loss, a baby, and a stressed relationship.

    The Grid, by Andy and Dionne Noble, also puts a stressed relationship onstage, in a darker, possibly less healthy version. Moonlight through a window illustrates the title.

    Sincerity (My Sentimental Mood) featured Eric Marable Jr. reciting his own deep poem onstage, as dancers Jordan Brown and Bria Tyner reflected some of its feeling and darkness, in choreography of understated drama by Tori Duhaime.

    (Des)pair, or choreographer Omar Roman de Jesus and partner Sarita Apel, fully entertained the audience with fast physical comedy and outsize expressions on their greasepainted faces — farce done well by a closely matched pair of gifted dancers.

    And A Forgotten Rhyme capped the second half with the understated flash of choreographer Jacqueline Stewart, collaborating with partner Joshua Manculich to generate a slightly haunting frisson. This rhyme hits the viewer deeper than it seems like it should.

    OCTOBER 24, 2013

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