June 5, 2002
A Sampler Calculated to Catch the Eye
Blue Muse Dance Project presented a choreographic showcase on Friday night
at the Theater of the Riverside Church. Most of the works were more
notable for their neat construction than for their flights of fancy.
Yet some choreographers devised eye-catching effects. Mayuna Shimizu,
Blue Muse's founder and director, sent veiled dancers fluttering wispily
in "Quicksand ・No Pain No Gain," then had them return
unveiled like avenging spirits. Dancers slowly emerged from a huddle in
Deborah Damast's "Erased Memories" and gathered again in
combinations of varying pictorial effectiveness.
There were two strongly danced solos. In an excerpt from Earl Mosley's
"Freedom," Matthew Rushing rose from a chair into fervent
stretches and leaps. In Leonides Arpon's " . . . now that you've
gone," Karah M. Abiog shook with sorrow and ran with desperation. If
the solo had been slightly shorter, its impact might have been even
Trimming could also have strengthened "Tamarisk," the work
depicting some perpetually jittery people that was offered by Jennine
Willett and 3rd Rail Dance.
Other choreographers emphasized patterns in space. Giada Ferrone kept
assigning four dancers similar and contrasting duets and solos in
"Pact." Dancers imitated one another in Richard Rivera's
"Carbon Copies." And in excerpts from Danielle A. DePersis's
"Bounce in 5," dancers moved briskly and sometimes with
deliberate rigidity to a taped accompaniment that included a repeated
statement about a man with a pocket calculator.
Many of the evening's dances looked choreographically calculated, and
that was fine, for compositional thoughtfulness is preferable to
messiness. But there were times when one longed for a union of
thoughtfulness and imagination.