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  •  REVIEW: YOSHIKO CHUMA AND REBECCA LAZIER

    Yoshiko Chuma, Chris Cochrane in Yoshiko Chuma and Rebecca Lazier
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Yoshiko Chuma, Chris Cochrane

    Old School, Open Score

    Yoshiko Chuma and Rebecca Lazier share an evening at La Mama

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Careful and silly, serious and absurd — very different pieces by Rebecca Lazier and Yoshiko Chuma share these qualities, in a shared evening at La Mama. Both carry on traditions of the last fifty years of experimental dance and theater, using improvisation and open score structuring to bemuse and confuse, which gives both pieces charm and edge.

      
    YOSHIKO CHUMA AND REBECCA LAZIER
    Choreography by: Yoshiko Chuma, Rebecca Lazier.
    Dancers: Rebecca Lazier: Senaz Demirel, Pierre Guilbault, Cori Kresge, Vincent McCloskey, Christopher Ralph, Anna Schön, Tan Temal
    Yoshiko Chuma: with Miriam Parker, Rebeca Medina, Ximena Garnica
    .
    Documenter/text, Afghan Hat: Colin Nusbaum.
    Live music, Afghan Hat: Chris Cochrane, Christopher McIntyre.
    Live video, Afghan Hat: Kit Fitzgerald.
     SCHEDULE
    La Mama
    May 15-18, 2014

    Lazier's There Might Be Others leads with an existential-philosophical piece of auditory humor by Vladan Radovanovic, Voice from the Loudspeaker. The same quality of whimsy appears in small, growing movement and partnerings. "Working in the tradition of open scores, this piece is created in performance. The dancers begin with a collection of movements, tasks, rules, games and contingencies," notes Lazier in the program. Careful, caring interactions seem serious, until they devolve into silly slapping games, which seem sweet until they approach aggression. The ebb and flow of seven excellent performers works really well for two-thirds of the piece, with shifting groupings and activities keeping things curious. The final third reaches a certain lull, by chance or design, and the performance of this evening ends softly, anticlimactically.

    Cori Kresge, Christopher Ralph, Anna Schön, Tan Temal in There Might Be Others in Yoshiko Chuma and Rebecca Lazier
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Cori Kresge, Christopher Ralph, Anna Schön, Tan Temal in "There Might Be Others"

    Yoshiko Chuma goes for drama much more often in π=3.14...How to Deliver an Afghan Hat, and the structure and score are more set, but seriousness morphing into and out of absurdity is a big part of it all. Edginess and aggression are bracing, even approaching scary or disturbing — or hilarious, given the activity onstage or audience point of view. Chris Cochrane on guitar provides acoustic chaos for Chuma's wild movement, in interplay likely honed through years of collaboration. The usually calm presence of Miriam Parker provides respite from Chuma storms. She plays "timekeeper" with a stopped clock and "moderator" to circular, multilingual interrogations between Rebecca Medina and Ximena Garcia. Fascinating confusion and beautiful staging keep things riveting for two-thirds of this piece, but like Others, Hat ends in a place closer to a lull, almost arbitrarily. As before, the effect is not necessarily damaging — it is mostly odd.

    Each half of this shared evening piques enough to want to see more, and each succeeds in making us think a little.

    MAY 24, 2014
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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