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Impressions of: Liz Gerring Dance Company’s "(T)here to (T)here" at Baryshnikov Arts Center as part of the White Light Festival

Impressions of: Liz Gerring Dance Company’s "(T)here to (T)here" at Baryshnikov Arts Center as part of the White Light Festival
Deirdre Towers/Follow @deirdre.towers on Instagram

By Deirdre Towers/Follow @deirdre.towers on Instagram
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Published on November 21, 2016
Photo by Miguel Anaya

In Collaboration with Kay Rosen

Nov 10, 2016

Composer: Michael J. Schumacher

Dancers: Brandon Collwes, Joseph Giordano, Pierre Guilbault, Julia Jurgilewicz, Claire Westby

Choreographer/Dancer: Liz Gerring

Photo credits: (T)here to (T)here - Liz Gerring Dance Company in collaboration with Kay Rosen. Photographer Miguel Anaya. All images courtesy Liz Gerring Dance Company, copyright 2016. World premiere of (T)here to (T)here at Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC, November 10, 2016.

Pictured above: Brandon Collwes and Claire Westby

Choreographer Liz Gerring marched in downstage towards the close of her forty-five minute work (T)here to (T)here, shown as a world premiere at Baryshnikov Arts Center, co-presented with Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival. Blonde bangs hang in her eyes; a thin tie-shirt stops mid-thigh.  She slices the air with her hand towards the ground with the vehemence and precision of a sushi chef. From the first jeté, Gerring and her dancers bring a now or never deliberateness to her choreography. Following an era of Abstract Expressionism, Gerring animates her space with passionate abstraction.
Liz Gerring in a racer back athletic-looking tunic kicks her leg behind her. Her head looks to the ceiling as her short blonde hair tosses up.
Liz Gerring in (T)here to (T)here. Photo by Miguel Anaya.
Gerring acts as a straight man for her witty collaborator Kay Rosen whose projected text and color lighten our experience. For example, with three triangles projected on the back wall, large text dissolves slowly and stretches, spelling TRIANGLE, then THREE ANGLES, then THREE ANGELS, whereupon halos appear. Comparisons to the Cage/Cunningham dynamic fall apart because these two women are not a couple, nor has dance loomed large in Rosen’s career.  That said, Rosen choreographs her text, sometimes suggesting a crossword puzzle and makes us consider the fluxing importance of proximity/distance, which then reminds us of the spatial relations of the dancer(s). 
Three dancers in shiny black leggings and tank tops stand on letters that are projected on the floor in off-kilter balances and stances.
Brandon Collwes, Claire Westby and Joseph Giordano in (T)here to (T)here. Photo by Miguel Anaya.
The electronic score by long-time collaborator Michael J. Schumacher supports the earnest attack of the dancers. Brandon Collwes and Claire Westby, wearing spandex tights and tieshirts, share the stage with intense awareness of each other, usually from opposite sides of the space. Once Westby carefully rests her head on Collwes, momentarily dissipating the tension; another time he flips her into an upside down diagonal. A Juilliard graduate, married with three children, Gerring moves her dancers sparingly: a few high jumps, counterpointed by long poses, such as a penché. She dispenses with any filigree; sometimes she flings an arm with a jump, but often the hands and arms act as stabilizers.

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Check out our other IMPRESSIONS here, and for more on Liz Gerring read our 2015 Impressions.
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