|Photo by Chris Nicodemo|
|Mei Yamanaka (up) and Misuzu Hara (down)|
Magic vs. Darkness
Mei Yamanaka Works presents Sunflower at Triskelion
By QUINN BATSON
Mei Yamanaka and Misuzu Hara are becoming one of those watch-if-you-get-the-chance duos that are a dance world treat. They move as two physical versions of one brain perfect synch in slightly different flavors. And the pared-down, almost stark aesthetic of Sunflower is a consistent strength. Darkness and a bit of light in a box are magic tools in Yamanaka's entrance, for instance.
The world they create onstage and onscreen is not very secure, but compassion and beauty may carry it through. Or not. There is no neat message to wrap up the messy realities of human nature. Nuclear power and its inherent danger seem one theme. The greed and delusion that promote and ignore environmental degredation and overexploitation may take us to the point of no return, but hope glimmers here even as our duo struggle and things fall apart.
|MEI YAMANAKA WORKS: SUNFLOWER|
|Choreography by: Mei Yamanaka.|
Dancers: Misuzu Hara, Mei Yamanaka.
January 8 and 11, 2015
Though much of Sunflower is quiet and dark, the mix of active and still feels right. The sections where the two dance in synch feel almost playful even as they show a touch of trouble. The slowness with which they pick up and carry each other adds weight to that action. And the sheer bedlam as the wall of boxes tumbles is both hilarious and a bit scary, with Yamanaka at times riding Hara like a bucking bronco.
The arc and flow of Sunflower never fail to keep us riveted even as things move slowly. There is an unexpected quality to every moment, an unpredictability that excites. Mei and Misuzu have now shown that their range extends from broad comedy to rich and freighted uncertainty an impressive span. Mei Yamanaka Works works.
|JANUARY 24, 2015|
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