Despite the rough edges, including a widespread lack of vocal flexibility, performance pieces by students of Rachel Rosenthal offered some inspired moments at the Lhasa Club on Friday.
"Sowelu--A Personal Myth," created and performed by Cynthia King and Wendy Moore, was the most compelling work, combining storytelling and feminist self-awareness in a tightly woven tale of a young woman's vision of her dead grandmother. Both women projected a dreamlike intensity, moving to the intermittent eerie sounds of rim-rubbed vessels.
Anne Mavor's "Mouthpiece" contained extraordinary images of the elusiveness of words to a stutterer. Peter Schroff's "Cowboy's Zone" was an obscure charmer cobbled out of a film of a woman walking downstairs, a levitating hat, two metronomes and a halting monologue that seemed overly affected. In "Tremors," Denise Yarfitz talked about risk while painfully assembling a row of glasses on a high shelf near an ominously rustling pile of sheaves.
Zack's goofy lecture on the relationship of speech to the position of one's posterior was a vast improvement over his stale satire of artistic success. Jose Payo's "On Queue"--a portrait of urban dementia--and Robert Lewis Tompkins' rap about the Ten Commandments both needed focus and pruning. Gregg Gibbs lacked the spellbinding presence his wild-eyed mosquito lecture and subsequent metamorphosis required.