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  •  REVIEW: VIM VIGOR: FOREVER

    L-R: Jessica Smith, Marija Obradovic, Isaies Perez, Jason Cianciulli in Vim Vigor: Forever
    Photo by Arnaud Falchier
    L-R: Jessica Smith, Marija Obradovic, Isaies Perez, Jason Cianciulli

    Nothing Lasts. . .

    Forever is Vim Vigor's Latest Foray into Human Behavior

    By QUINN BATSON
    Offoffoff.com

    Pyrotechnic partnering and emotional bleakness dominate Vim Vigor Dance Company's Forever, cinematically staged at a small wedding reception, in an indeterminate time when radio was the main medium.

      
    VIM VIGOR: FOREVER
    Choreography by: Shannon Gillen with Jason Cianciulli.
    Dancers: Jason Cianciulli, Kiley Doloway, Marija Obradovic, Isaies Perez, Jessica Smith.
    Sound design by: Shannon Gillen and Aaron Robinson.
    Lighting design by: Barbara Samuels.
    Concept and direction: Shannon Gillen.
     SCHEDULE
    Robert Moss Theater at Playwright Horizons
    March 21-24, 2019

    Two handsome couples celebrate the marriage of one, while a reception hall worker cleans up, in the simple synopsis. In the layered place where Forever lives, there is quite a bit of emotional and sexual danger, or drama, kindled every time the "real" action freezes, and one or often two dancers break off into a fantasy sequence of what may be under the surface, or below the conscious.

    This serves both to show off the skills of the dancers and to show that nothing is secure or serene in relationships or between people. The onstage radio gives both soundtrack and plot movement, and works both pretty poorly (intermittent "bad reception") and pretty well.

    The partnering gets progressively scarier and stays at a high pitch for much of the second half, with women and men flipping over each other and swinging in fast circles or large arcs. It's borderline nerve-wracking to watch; the dancers are clearly excellent, but high heels, speed and chairs always threaten to wrench something the wrong way.

    Marija Obradovic's small soliloquy is intriguing. She explains a Yugoslavian saying that doesn't mean what it says but says so much about life. All the dancers — Obradovic and Jason Cianciulli, Kiley Doloway and Isaies Perez, and Jessica Smith — stand out as individual performers and beast partners.

    The hallworker character introduces sub-themes of social status and invisibility, but these stay at low flame.

    It is an apparently lost woman's brief cameo appearance, wandering in with her baby, that blows apart any remaining party atmosphere, when she recoils from the wedding bouquet flowers as if they are red-hot reminders of the broken promise her life once held.

    There is enough going on between the two couples to exhaust anyone, even before the beleaguered mom and presumably fathergone child enter, and the audience finish exhilarated and spent.

    APRIL 22, 2019
    OFFOFFOFF.COM • THE GUIDE TO ALTERNATIVE NEW YORK



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