Posted by: trailerpilot | 08:22::2009

The August Project/Quick Dances

AugustProject

Last night at Voice of the City Carleen Healy, JulieAnn Graham, Elisa Foshay and Melissa Simo shared the product of their six-day process with a public showing. The four began spread throughout the room absorbed in a variety of tasks, Graham counting and re-counting items on a table between excursions to the floor, Foshay tipping slowly over at an upright piano like a Weeble Wobble chewing on some persistent memory. Classical music (about which I forgot to inquire) played out of a boombox on the floor behind the space’s back door; combined with some rowdy Friday-night chit-chat and street noise beyond the room’s other walls, the space was turned into a place between. It felt like being in a bubble in resin: It wasn’t supposed to be there, but filling it elevated the mistake to an exercised opportunity.

Like many sections, this first ended with a simple, declarative announcement: “End.” Structured improvisations or “scores,” the calling of their finishes was in each occurrence a satisfying, considered moment. A duet score between Simo and Foshay later on let the dancers’ senses of humor fizz: Watching Foshay play it straight while Simo, hunched over and twisted, mouthed words that devolved into the open-and-shut ba-ba-ba-ba of a fish’s inhale was like watching a Champagne flute. In short order it spread to the other dancers, then dissipated. Healy danced a lovely solo of impossible softness.

A pause for wine refills and chocolate introduced Asimina Chremos. In these appearances — as no character, from no story, dancing to no music in an improvisation with no title — Chremos is perhaps most fully in her element. At times primally inquisitive and suspicious, alternately hidden and exposed, she cut through the room from angle after angle. Her limbs go at negative space like a sculptor attacking a two-ton chunk of Carrara. Some are swift moments of bulk reduction, while others add the smallest bit of expressive detail. All feel confident and permanent. It’s a joy to watch her work.

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