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  •  REVIEW: SARAH SKAGGS DANCE: THE NEW ECSTATIC

    Cori Kresge (L) and Sarah Skaggs in Sarah Skaggs Dance: The New Ecstatic
    Photo by Elyssa Goodman
    Cori Kresge (L) and Sarah Skaggs

    Mysterious Energy

    Sarah Skaggs Dance does The New Ecstatic at Danspace

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    There is magic in The New Ecstatic, the show Sarah Skaggs Dance presented at Danspace; it is a pleasant surprise to become a fan, on first view, of a choreographer who has been creating for years.

      
    SARAH SKAGGS DANCE: THE NEW ECSTATIC
    Choreography by: Sarah Skaggs.
    Dancers: Meredith Fages, Emie Hughes, Joanne Kotze, Cori Kresge, Sarah Skaggs.
    Costumes by: Sherry Harper-McCombs, Julie Bounds.
    Lighting design by: Kathy Kaufmann.
     SCHEDULE
    Danspace Project
    October 3-5, 2013

    In one version of the ecstatic, Skaggs uses a passionate sermon as the soundtrack for her solo Prelude for Salome. As the preacher exhorts people to put prayer back into their religious practice, Skaggs mirrors his passion and perhaps his message with her body, in convulsive but clear movement choices, using her arms like semaphore signals. This excites and sets the scene for two quartet excerpts from Higher Ground .

    Great casting gives this quartet flavor — Cori Kresge moving sharply with fierce presence, Joanna Kotze prancing and stalking with skinny Germanic intensity, Meredith Fages percolating smoothly until dropping our jaws with warp-speed precison, and newcomer Emie Hughes gobbling space warmly with a soft, fresh flow.

    Joanna Kotze in Sarah Skaggs Dance: The New Ecstatic
    Photo by Elyssa Goodman
    Joanna Kotze

    The transitions from piece to piece in this first large chunk of the program are almost seamless, due to clever continuity choices in music, movement and personnel. These choices also give a smooth arc to the softening energy onstage, which culminates in a cricket-quiet solo by Kotze, who stays clear and articulate while spending much of her time supine.

    The final piece of the evening, The New Ecstatic, does an excellent job using music by Glenn Branca, and Kresge, with the haircut and intensity of Sinead O'Connor, does an excellent job fueling the choreography. Kresge has soaked up the essence of Merce Cunningham movement, kept its large articulation and taken it to her own place.

    Kresge and Skaggs often take turns, feeling the ebb and flow of energy in the music. This ecstatic is not the noisy, excitable type but rather the kind that leaves electricity in the air when it is over.

    OCTOBER 8, 2013
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK


    Reader comments on Sarah Skaggs Dance: The New Ecstatic:

  • Such a great artist   from Karen, Oct 30, 2013

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