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Mark Dendy Dance and Theater

Reviewed by Lisa Jo Sagolla

Presented by and at the Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave., NYC, Jan. 10, 13, and 14.

If you saw last year's steamy musical "The Wild Party"—the production at Manhattan Theatre Club, not the Broadway version—then you undoubtedly became a fan of choreographer Mark Dendy and wouldn't dream of missing his new work, "I'm Going to my Room to be Cool Now and I Don't Want to be Disturbed," presented at the Joyce Theater.

Once again, you will be wowed by Dendy's ability to electrify a stage with wild, sexy energy through precisely designed forms that never appear chaotic, yet sizzle with kinesthetic abandon. "I'm Going to my Room…Disturbed," a suite of short dances to raw rock 'n' roll tunes, captures youthful responses to an array of sexual adventures. A homoerotic duet to "Tell Me Something Good" fits slyly into the song's quirky rhythmic punctuation while conveying an awkward, passionless encounter. An absorbing solo to Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" lets oddly isolated actions reveal the distress of a backward loner. A disappointingly brief solo created and performed by Lawrence Keigwin (Denby's choreographic collaborator throughout) provides only a glimpse of the dancer's tantalizing technique.

Dendy is an artist who is not ashamed to give the audience what it wants. Inventively manipulating familiar commercial jazz-dance vocabulary, he builds a crowd-pleasing parody to "Proud Mary," featuring a trio of "back-up" dancers who literally interpret the lyric with an amusing smorgasbord of "rolling, rolling, rolling," movements.

Skillfully modulated, Dendy's work balances hot energies with cooler moments. We see the boredom of those for whom sex is a job in a brilliantly crafted dance formed around the concept of a circle within a square, and preceding the fun finale come a sensual pas de deux, a bluesy reflection (superbly danced by Steven Ochoa), and a heartfelt sextet that dances the drama of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone."

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