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  •  REVIEW: THE MEDIAN MOVEMENT: JACK RALLY

    The Median Movement: JACK Rally
    Photo by Andy Ribner

    What's Your Name?

    The Median Movement at University Settlement

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    The Median Movement warm hearts and connect people, and that is enough. But Alex Springer and Xan Burley find ways to uplift and enlighten with subtle, telepathic duo work or with large groups of dancers, humanizing the audience experience in the best sense of the word. Rather than becoming a faceless organism, for instance, the 25 dancers in JACK Rally become 25 individual humans that I want to learn more about.

      
    THE MEDIAN MOVEMENT: JACK RALLY
    Choreography by: Xan Burley and Alex Springer.
    Dancers: Jake Bone, Chris Brathwaite, Quentin Burley, Xan Burley, Cesar Cordova, Brianna Dixon, Imani Foster, Adrian Galvin, Amy Gernux, Nicole Gibson, Marguerite Hemmings, Delsa Heredia, Madeline Irmen, Julia Kelly, Sydnie Liggett, Molly Mae MacGregor, Cameron McKinney, Myssi Robinson, Emma Rumberg, Lynda Senisi, AJ Sharp, Alex Springer, Hsiao-Jou Tang, Alexander Leslie Thompson, Madeline Wilcox.
    Music by: Will Owen and Nadia Botello.
    Technical Director: Emma Rivera.
    Board Operator: Ebony.
     SCHEDULE
    University Settlement
    October 23-25, 2014

    The movement is organic, fluid, less fussy — running, walking, crouching, swirling. Live music by Will Owen and Nadia Botello has a driving, lulling effect. Call-and-response clapping, verbal improv commands, contact partnering and melting into and off the floor are elements that appear and go as needed, and sections begin and end in similar fashion, sometimes clear and distinct, sometimes flowing from one to the next.

    So many little gestures and decisions accumulate over the course of Jack Rally that it isn't easy to pinpoint moments, but three sections stand out. In the first, Alex Springer partners almost the entire group, one at a time, lifting them, throwing them or easing them to the floor. It is a feat of skill and endurance that leaves him panting, and leaves us pondering what it means. The interactions are apparently friendly but inherently both confrontational and collaborative, perhaps as all human interactions are.

    L-R: Alex Springer, Jake Bone, JACK group in The Median Movement: JACK Rally
    Photo by Andy Ribner
    L-R: Alex Springer, Jake Bone, JACK group

    The next is the duet section between Springer and Jake Bone, similar in tone to the interactions above but more intense by their one-on-one quality.

    The last is Hsiao-Jou Tang's solo, with the group self-corralled on two-thirds of the stage as she does dramatic "arcing" and dancing while the others watch raptly. As with Median Movement choreography in general, there is no one thing that stands out; it is a cumulative effect. Tang's ferocity of intent carries the most weight here, bringing tension and curiosity to their highest point of the night.

    The central question of the evening, posed at the beginning and again at the end, is "What's your name?" The first time the answer is "Jack." It's a JACK Rally; everyone is Jack because every one is the same. At the end, the answer we hope for — a simultaneous jumble of 25 unique names — would be easy, and Median Movement is always at least one step past easy. Instead, the answer is silence, deepening the wonder we leave with.

    OCTOBER 29, 2014
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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