Body Maps

"Worms giving birth to worms. Squirrels giving birth to squirrels."

An overabundance of ambition marks this deeply flawed piece, which seems more interested in the social issues it raises than creating compelling theater.

Essentially a text performance with dance accompaniment, "Body Maps" attempts to touch on a range of social and personal issues, from drug addiction to family discord. The text, recited with vivacity by Barbara Barese, swings from lists of words recited in a jazzy style to stories of people torn apart from forces beyond their control.

Meanwhile, with the elegant soprano of Annie Ricci and Lucian Ban's erratic music as a backdrop, the dancers attempt to evoke the cycle of birth (literally--emerging from tubes of white gauze attached to Ricci, giving her the appearance of a queen bee) to troubled life and finally to death.

Although the stories are compelling (especially as evoked by Barese), the mostly narcoleptic choreography by Natasa Trifan and the overall feeling of bleakness created by the three co-directors (Saviana Stanescu, Oana Botez-Ban, Kara Marie Dean) gave this 70-minute show the feeling of being much longer. Though there are some moments of true poetry in the dancers' movements, they were too few and far in-between to create any sustained emotional build-up in the performance. Also, the interstitial video that accompanied the dance felt totally extraneous.