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  •  REVIEW: CHAVASSE DANCE AND PERFORMANCE

    Peter Schmitz and Amy Chavasse in Chavasse Dance and Performance
    Photo by Glenn Bering
    Peter Schmitz and Amy Chavasse

    Funny in the Head

    ChavasseDance&Performance take Triskelion Arts to strange places

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Amy Chavasse is a continual surprise, solo or ensemble. Her dances are simultaneously absurd, smart and disturbing, and she chooses her collaborators well.

      
    CHAVASSE DANCE AND PERFORMANCE
    Choreography by: Amy Chavasse, Peter Schmitz (Deux Dogtooth).
    Dancers: Amy Chavasse, Jessica Jolly Cikanek, Aidan Feldman, Sarah Konner, Mark Messer, Donnell Oakley, Malcolm Tulip.
    Costumes by: Amy Chavasse, Malcolm Tulip, Melody Eggen.
    Lighting design by: Andy Dickerson.
     SCHEDULE
    Triskelion Arts
    June 6 and 7, 2015

    Malcolm Tulip is her first collaborator, in deux dogtooth, in a dress. He is neither Spring nor chicken, but he is a stellar performer. Dogtooth develops slowly, coyly, with Tulip waiting for Chavasse to appear and make her way indirectly to one of two chairs behind a table. Hesitation, false starts and dueling monologs are all part of the fabric here, with each telling a gripping narrative in nonsense or dream, respectively. Tulip's masked story of growing up unacknowledgedly gay (maybe) is mostly silly and hilarious, especially when he begins speaking in real-sounding gibberish and it still makes sense. Much of the time the two are speaking separately in stereo, forcing audience to listen to one or the other. Chavasse has more terror and urgency in her story and her movements, flowing down to the floor and up to the table with scissoring legs and bending spine.

    Amy Chavasse in Conspiracy Going in Chavasse Dance and Performance  
    Photo by Peter Smith  
    Amy Chavasse in "Conspiracy Going"
      
    Hunger for the Longing (a biased history of seduction) makes just as much sense as its title and is just as intriguing. A plastic model horse drops from within the trenchcoat of a strange, wandering man. And then a flood of horses clatters to the floor, from him. Dancer Donnell Oakley proceeds to handstand around the space with a carrot in her mouth, to feed the horses on the floor, of course. From there, it is a fabulous, meandering blur, getting slower, stranger and quieter until reaching a peaceful end, with the five performers in a static tableau.

    Conspiracy Going (Amy needs a lof of empathy) is a solo of vocal and physical nuance and power. With a bit of "truth is stranger than fiction", Chavasse speaks/performs text from a blog titled "CIA vs the World, Amy needs a lot of empathy", posted by a probably paranoid schizophrenic person that he/she wrote in response to one of Amy's solos. Her choices of phrasing, tiiming and delivery are masterful, always leaving a fairydust trail of wonder and anticipation in audience minds. The best line? — "Where is my rescue package?" We were told before the solo began to read the program description, but Conspiracy may be even better seen unwarned.

    JUNE 12, 2015
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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