Sarah A. O. Rosner’s press contact dropped me a line shortly before I headed to New York last week, wondering if I’d be interested in stopping by a rehearsal. The A. O. Movement Collective’s latest, 90 Ways to Wake from Drowning, premieres at Joyce SoHo this weekend, Friday 30 and Saturday 31. Tickets are moving fast — a Saturday matinée was added to absorb some demand.
I encourage you folks out there to catch this work.
Granted, I didn’t see much at BARN — just an hour or so of tweaks to two duets between Rowan Magee and Ilona Bito — but I enjoyed watching Rosner observe and offer notes on the material. Even when tuning highly physical vocabulary (Bito spent a lot of time upside down), Rosner uses language more like a theater director’s to coax out the environment she’s looking for. It showed in the way the pair’s slow wrestle seemed more like an impassioned discussion in movement than a pas de deux. Rosner’s work isn’t about using dance to represent life; you instead feel like you’re observing interactions within a community that speaks through bodily contact. This strikes a chord of authenticity in solid dialogue with how dance as an art form works, and anchors the more angst-ridden moments, which could become indulgent, to real emotional bedrock.
Their preview video is after the break.