Reviewed by Phyllis Goldman
Self-presented at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave., NYC, Jan. 10-28.
Artistic Directors Rosane Chamecki and Andrea Lerner (hence the title of the company), with company members Cristina Latic and Maria Hassabi, premiered "Poor Reality" as part of the Altogether Different Series at the Joyce Theater. The two directors get high marks for the simple black paneled set design they created, the black knee-length dresses and hair ties of Narcisco Rodriguez, and a palatable score by Dusty Trails. The four dancers have memory spans that Bill Gates could only dream his future machines might have, because the amount of minute movement and quirky positioning these girls needed to remember was monumental. The patterning for the hands and fingers alone was a full vocabulary, and, like the language of signing, a communication that seemed to bond the dancers to each other. As the dance unfolded, however, repetitiveness set in. So did ennui.
The dancers squirmed into many-layered floor patterns, wove through each other in geometric designs, and sat still for "long" seconds staring out at the audience. In one segment, as the women strutted and stomped, turning in their toes and leaning into their hips, it seemed a derby, high heels, and a high-cut leotard would have put us in Fosse land. Excitement was not always forthcoming, nor was complete understanding of the segues from the spoken word. "Did she follow you to the bathroom?" asked, not once, but many times, went somewhat unanswered. We were asked to look at ourselves in a mirror and determine what we actually see, a formidable task to be sure.
"Poor Reality" was at its best if one concentrated on the women, who were focused, energized, and expressive, banding together in nice passages of ensemble movement and attempting to deliver a message of sorts. For some reason, the 55-minute piece seemed much longer, a sign that, though the style was cerebral and unique, it began to wear thin.
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