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  •  REVIEW: SHANNON GILLEN: A COLORED IMAGE OF THE SUN

      Genna Baroni, Amy Moore in Shannon Gillen: A Colored Image of the Sun
      Photo by Breegan Kearney
      Genna Baroni, Amy Moore
    The Electricity of Life

    Shannon Gillen and Dana Katz explore self-transformation at the 92nd Street Y

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com


    There's never a dull moment, or movement, in Shannon Gillen + Guests' A Colored Image of the Sun. This in itself is impressive and almost exhausting, in a nearly hour-long piece. Five women alternately beat themselves up and help each other cope. Life as a woman, perhaps, or, as the program notes state: "Bearing children is a natural act; so is dying.... our desire to have children is drawn from multiple sources, perhaps none so powerful as our will to survive." This is rich soil already, but it also includes "one's assumption of self as it is challenged by the basic fear of non-existence or of disappearing into someone else."

    SHANNON GILLEN: A COLORED IMAGE OF THE SUN
    Choreography by: Shannon Gillen, Dana Katz.
    Dancers: Shannon Gillen: Genna Baroni, Catherine Coury, Gabrielle Lamb, Amy Moore, Emily Terndrup
    Dana Katz: Esme Boyce, Brendan Duggan, Brittany Engel-Adams
    .
     SCHEDULE
    92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center
    January 13, 2013

      
    It is a little fascinating that this context drives the sun, not least for the absence of men onstage. Each sex really is invisible to the other at times, but it would take a few more pages, or a book, to fully explore the idea of male absence and what it means to both men and women.

    Or, equally likely, a man would not fit in the seamless ensemble Gillen has here, with Genna Baroni, Catherine Coury, Gabrielle Lamb, Amy Moore and Emily Tendrup. Identical costumes and hairstyles imply universality or interchangeablility, though a subtle stripe of color down the middle of each woman's head also implies different personalities.

    The soundtrack — music by Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides, Cindytalk and excerpts of found sound — works well to keep things on edge or in harmony, as needed. Most importantly, high-caliber movement by each and every dancer binds our attention, with Catherine Coury and Genna Baroni often serving as lightning or as lightning rods. A mixture of solos, duos and group sections keeps a good flow going, and there is a strong contrast between the angst, and self-abuse, of each dancer in her solo and the more supportive, shared-suffering feel of the group sections. A Colored Image of the Sun puts a powerful charge in the air from start to end.

    Emily Terndrup, Catherine Coury, Genna Baroni, Amy Moore, Gabrielle Lamb in Shannon Gillen: A Colored Image of the Sun
    Photo by Breegan Kearney
    Emily Terndrup, Catherine Coury, Genna Baroni, Amy Moore, Gabrielle Lamb

    Prospect Minds, a strong piece by Dana Katz — the event is billed as "Dana Katz and Friends" — follows the Sun. The three could-not-be-more-different performers Brendan Duggan, Brittany Engel-Adams and Esme Boyce take turns with our attention in solos danced to odd and arresting narrations. Each performer is striking, and Esme Boyce seems to best reflect the intended essence as she strips off an old but elegant winter coat and dances in 1940s-style underwear with a very Joan-from-"Mad Men" persona. Katz' stated intent is to travel "along the lines of the general need to leave old habits behind and prospect for a better future."

    JANUARY 16, 2013
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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