Three provocative premieres from Hope Mohr Dance
Exuberant and yet ever so controlled, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction was a two-way street in terms of improvisation. Here the musicians — Michael Coleman on keyboard, Henry Hung on trumpet, Tommy Folen on bass, and Gerald Patrick Korte on percussion — responded as much to the dancers as the other way around. For this choreography the excellent Lindsey Renee Derry, Roche Janken, and David Schleiffers joined Bannon-Neches, Graham, and Schwab, who also individualized the dancers with color-saturated tank tops.
Schwab and Hung engaged each other in a playful duet, while Folen's bass sent Bannon-Neches into spasmodic travels. Graham at one point strode upstage with every part of his torso alive to the music. I don't know whether his greeting of dancers was a spur of the moment idea but it felt right on.
While some sections — unisons for instance — served as time markers and probably were planned, a duet between Schwab and Janken, for instance, could have been improvised. It was important that spontaneity blossomed within given parameters, sometimes determined by simple commands like "stop" and "go." With Szlasa favoring slightly dimmed houselights, thus suggesting the breaking of the fourth wall, Notes came to look like a spacious and airy informal get-together. I kept thinking of watching outdoor ice skaters on a sunny afternoon. *