IMPRESSIONS OF GALLIM DANCE
BAM Fisher, May 25, 2013
Choreographer: Andrea Miller
Dancers: Francesca Romo, Caroline Fermin, Troy Ogilvie, Daniel Staaf, Austin Tyson, Dan Walczak, Jonathan Royse Windham
Lighting Design: Vincent Vigilante
Deirdre Towers for The Dance Enthusiast
|Dancers (Left to Right): Caroline Fermin, Francesca Romo; Photo Franziska Strauss|
Wisps of smoke soften the bare stage of BAM Fisher until it fades to black. A young man wearing only black briefs stands down stage center, staring at us; he shifts, locking into asymmetrical, awkward poses. His deadpan expression suggests that this cracking at the seams is not to be deemed amusing, hip, or pathetic, but rather appreciated as a momentary inner state.
Andrea Miller strikes me as a feminist choreographer, one who admires energy and suspense, as much as stillness; one who foregoes traditional “punch lines.” When one dancer pulls the white tape defining a box upstage right, drawing the other five dancers with her, it signaled a closure as no previous movement. A male duet, accented by eight pools of light, had an emotional vulnerability, with an anti-climax; clinging lead to a separation. In a male/female duet set to “Prelude No. 6 in B Minor, Op 28” by Frederic Chopin, Miller sets up a contrast to show how these opposites co-exist, rather than attract. The delicate classicism of Chopin offsets the hardness of the woman and the frailty of the man.
|Dancers (Left to Right): Troy Ogilvie and Moo Kim; Photo Franziska Strauss.|
Her excellent dancers fly, crawl, hover, and hang together. They split jump, hurtle themselves into the arms of each other, and hold a pose, all with abandon, yet precision. The recurring choreographic allusion to insects is odd; the resort to running around the periphery of the stage seems unimaginative; but generally BLUSH feels flush with craft, design, and invention. These dancers give their all within strict confines. Except for the grinning in the final section which seemed scripted rather than genuine, the ensemble breathes together. At one magical moment, the dancers face upstage, perched quietly as though they are all meditating. They clunk backward simultaneously, only to maintain their gaze on something invisible, asking us to do the same.
Andrea Miller, only nine years out of Juilliard, has had an admirable streak of commissions, support, and productivity. She will continue, no doubt, to bend our expectations and make us catch our breath for many decades to come.
|Dancers (Left to Right): Francesca Romo, Troy Ogilvie and Caroline Fermin; Photo Franziska Strauss|