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DANCE REVIEW : Fear and Anger in the Here and Now

March 22, 1994|LEWIS SEGAL | TIMES DANCE WRITER

The "Voices in Motion" series, created as a showcase for emerging local choreographers, returned to the Ivar Theatre in Hollywood over the weekend in its third edition.

The program booklet credits four government agencies with making possible ("in part") programs of the Inner City Cultural Center. However, this ICCC event was largely made possible by the choreographers themselves, who contributed up to $750 apiece in order to appear in the two-day, three-night series.

Fear and anger dominated many of the works seen Saturday, with the R&R Dance Theatre focusing on the L.A. riots, the Donlavy Dance Company on AIDS panic and the KIN Dance company on both homelessness and explosive urban violence. Even the relatively upbeat Brockus Project Dance Company ended its suite of well-crafted jazz-based pieces with a premiere of a five-part work about putting together a shattered soul.

Parts of R&R's "L.A. After Images" (choreographed by Roberta Wolin) and Donlavy's "Common Threads" used fascinating spoken texts that obliterated the less distinctive movement accompanying them. However's R&R's talent for re-creating images and feelings from the riots grew stronger as the piece progressed, with performers such as Vivian G. Rankin and Robert Whidbee especially eloquent.

Samuel Donlavy's fiery "Disappearing Acts" solo achieved a level of technical and emotional sharpness lacking in his dogged, confusing processional trio "Cycles" and only fitfully evident in his surging new septet "Like a Quiet Storm." Similarly, his HIV-testing psychodrama, "When It Came to Dinner," dumped plenty of potentially powerful dramatic and movement ideas on the stage, but failed to organize them purposefully.

KIN's two-part "Pale Forest," choreographed by Frit and Frat Fuller, conveyed alternately creepy and alarming views of street life through technically sophisticated yet always urgent group motion. For rock-dance heat with a modern-dance social agenda, no local company beats KIN.

Working in a more middle-of-the-road style, Deborah Brockus artfully shaped statements of isolation and pain in "Stranger," of supportive female relationships in "Sylvie" (co-choreographed with Terri Best and Sahri Nyce) and of attempts to reach beyond individual suffering in "Fragments of the Soul."

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