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  •  REVIEW: NEWSTEPS 2013

    Mei Yamanaka (L) and Misuzu Hara in newsteps 2013
    Photo by Anton Martynov
    Mei Yamanaka (L) and Misuzu Hara

    Softly slipping time

    dreamspace fills much of this iteration of newsteps

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Chen Dance Center's newsteps: a Choreographers Series is not at fault, but what's worse then missing the best part of a show because it started at 7:30 and you aimed for 8? Life was simpler when there was only one start time for performances, and it was 8. Like daylight savings, there will always be some ready to explain the "logic" of shifting times but fewer ready to admit it's a good idea. Seeing only the end of Mei Yamanaka's duet with Misuzu Hara made a strong impression anyway, as these two move in harmony and synch as few others can. Triom may have begun without a ball, but by the end there is a soft kickball-size ball pinned against or between the two continuously, perhaps the "Tri" of the title. Yamanaka pulls off serious silliness better than most, or all. A sharp mind and versatile dance body give her a distinct edge, and Hara is an excellent foil. The end of Triom is unexpected and sillysweet.

      
    NEWSTEPS 2013
    Choreography by: Mei Yamanaka, Wanda Gala, Juan Michael Porter II, Cristin Cawley, Katie Dean, Kristen Klein.
    Dancers: Mei Yamanaka with Misuzu Hara
    Gala: Brigitte Mitchell, Rainey White, Samantha McHale, Sandra Passirani
    Porter: Michelle Brugal and Jillian Davis
    Cristin Cawley
    Katie Dean
    Klein: Amy Campbell, Christina Chelette, Morgana Phlaum, Jennifer Radcliffe
    .
    Lighting design by: Joe Doran.
     SCHEDULE
    Chen Dance Center
    April 18-20, 2013

    CD3 NYC 1303 is an appropriately abstract and intriguing title for the group of slow, pretty solos "facilitated" by Wanda Gala in collaboration with performers Brigitte Mitchell, Rainey White, Samantha McHale and Sandra Passirani. This is a dreamlike concoction, with solos seeping into each other the way dream scenes shift. The program note perhaps describes it best: "CD3 NYC 1303 is the third installation of 'constellation dances', a collective improvisational scoring system developed by Wanda Gala and drawing from celestial data as a primary structuring agent."

    Also beautiful and slow is gestation amour, a duet choreographed by Juan Michael Porter II and performed by Michelle Brugal and Jillian Davis. Music by Brahms, Ruggles, Rachmaninov give a good sense of the overall feel of the piece.

    Inclined Dance Project in newsteps 2013  
    Photo by Peter Yesley  
    Inclined Dance Project
      
    Individual solos by Cristin Cawley and Katie Dean follow. Cawley's ...before the Fall is a little bit classical and a little bit fun, with chugs and quirks thrown into ballet movement unexpectedly. Dean's There is no right now is much quieter and softer-moving. Sound design, also by Dean, works well to fracture, soften and shuffle time to reflect the title.

    In contrast, Ringer, choreographed by Kristen Klein and performed by Inclined Dance Project, is a quartet of action and right now. Black and gray costumes impart a superficial cool to energetic dancing.

    APRIL 27, 2013
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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