2 nEW Festival dance programs witty, stunningJun 5th, 2009 | By | Category: Reviews
By Merilyn Jackson, For The Inquirer
The nEW Festival’s public stage performances launched Wednesday night at the Drake Theater with two programs, displays of brilliant dancing and a strong array of interpretations of a single work.
Share, a witty dance-theater piece loosely based on the notions of truth and falsity by Philadelphia’s Gabrielle Revlock, led off the first program, accompanied by a Jon Barrios electronic soundscape that included a sly weather reading somewhere between Gregorian chant and barbershop quartet. Bonnie Friel and Gregory Holt made up a trio with Revlock, using theatrical tricks like lip-synching to expose false impressions, though Revlock’s title didn’t synch with the dance.
Second were Eun Jung Choi-Gonzalez and her partner, Guillermo Ortega Tanus, in Blue Print. They danced in plastic raincoats, stripped them off, then re-dressed from the pile of stuff that tumbled from the fly. Tanus, a terrific dancer (as were all the evening’s performers), seemed to be wrestling with his superego and losing.
In the second program, four of the 20 soloists who “commissioned” a dance from Bessie Award-winning choreographer Deborah Hay presented their separate versions. They traveled to Findhorn, Scotland, last summer to learn I’ll Crane for You from Hay, each practicing an artistic frame daily for three months, then, for an additional month, beginning the actual adaptation.