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'Tango Art,' '[a conversation],' 'Tea and Apathy'

by Katie Phillips

January 9, 2003 -- The Place, London

"Tango Art," the first piece of the evening, mixed, cut, and de-constructed traditional tango steps and the mind-set of partner dancing. All three performers danced to their own rhythm and vocals when their ear plugs were in and satisfying Argentinean tango music when they took them out. Their tango steps were fluid and flitting, with swishes, kicks, and cross overs, but frustratingly intercepted by a hyper-complicated argument of leading, resisting, relaxing, and accepting -- it didn't matter that lines were forgotten in this pseudo-acting skit. The piece was coherent, but could have been richer -- in both visuals and content, and could have contained less "singing."

Alice Sara's "[a conversation]" contained two beautiful dancers and some striking movements, if not much actual conversing. The bland costumes, washed out with stark lighting, were unfortunately draining of stimulation from the onset. There is a lot of room in the piece for the use of characterisation through eye contact, expression, and perhaps humour. Numerous pieces of music were used for no apparent reason, and funky up-beat sounds are great as long as it doesn’t look as if the dancers are counting out the steps of a dance routine. And the guest appearance of a toy orange lobster? Perhaps it should have been a wind up red herring instead.

Chard Gonzalez' "Tea and Apathy" consisted of a monotone ride through a sanatorium, with tubi-grip straight jacket costumes; improvised, constrained movement; and a handful of stellar performers. A disheveled looking David Leahy was definitely the star of the piece. Leaning on his bass, it was ambiguous as to whether or not he was controlling the action or just adding his musical talent to the visual collage of writhing, shaking, and laughing.

Katie Phillips' article was written for Resolution! Review on the Place's website.  For more, click here: Resolution! Review

Edited by Lori Ibay

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