The newly formed Laughing Bodies Dance Theater offered works that looked more like classroom exercises than pieces ready for general viewing on Sunday at the Los Angeles Photography Center as part of the Fringe Festival.
Founding members Dayna Beilenson, Nancy Lee and Jane Real ventured simplistic ideas that petered out with astonishing quickness. And sadly, of the three, only Real danced with more than flyweight technique. In her mercurial solo "Wick," for instance, Real exploited bold contrasts between tightly coiled and explosive movements, and always showed crisp, clean line and firm control.
Number among the conceptually weak works: Beilenson's academic folk primitivism in the trio "Shechinah"; Beilenson and Real's duet "Passage Beyond Seeing," which looked like uninspired contact-improvisations; and Lee's "Last Game: The Children of Enola Gay," which numbly pictorialized Penderecki's "Threnody in Memory of Victims of Hiroshima."
Rising a bit above the rest was Lee's energetic "Galapagos Olympiad" in which Lee, Real, Lisa Arbon and Patty Bice hurtled across the floor on their knees and elsewhere bolted into sports-derived movements in contrast with parodies of housewives' chores. Again, Real was the steadiest dancer--and, incidentally, the one given the most to do. But again, the piece seemed less to reach a meaningful end than simply to stop.