Aszure Barton and Hilary Palanza showcase the power of unpredictability
In two duets, its partners revolving back-to-back, one of the dancers got ceremoniously stripped of layers of clothing while the other tried to put them back on. It could have been foreplay, an act of aggression, or mechanical dolls gone awry. The exuberant marching band score with its regular beat turned the whole thing into a comedy act.
In her solo, a black-clad Angela Mazziotta looked like a widow in mourning who finally had to step away. The sound score of a rainstorm didn't counteract the dancer's inner turmoil, but added a potent metaphor that enhanced the choreography.
Not everything worked as well. Two different kinds of athleticisms by Eric Garcia and Colin Epstein elicited a fairly predictable stadium crowd's cheering. But what if the audience's choice instead of "athletic" had been "religious, intense" or "outer space, heady?"
Perhaps the most illuminating was a mysterious duet between the eclectically trained Garcia and the ballet-modern dancer Nina Saraceno. She would walk away from him but yet pursue him. What was going on? Johnny Cash's "Hurt" had one answer. Instead of "honest" we could have chosen "airy, ethereal." Also performing were Caitlin Hafer and Barb Lankamp. Close will be part of Summer Performance Festival 7, July 16-20 at ODC Theater — perhaps looking and sounding quite differently. *