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Weekend Reviews | Dance Review

'I'm Not You' Abounds With Humor, Wit

August 28, 2000|VICTORIA LOOSELEAF | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Dance has often been accused of lacking humor. Not so with Arianne MacBean and the Big Show Co., which shared billing with lwk-Bodytalk, two promising new troupes that appeared at Highways on Friday in an evening called "I'm Not You."

Indeed, dancer Elizabeth Hoefner's gamin looks and solid acting propelled "The Arianne MacBean Ballets"--an 11-part exploration into the relationship among choreographer, performer, theater space, audience and (gulp) dance critic--beyond humor into parody, provocative thought and deft physicality.

Wearing a "I Am Arianne MacBean" T-shirt, Hoefner took cues from the choreographer, who announced each "ballet" offstage, such as "Practice Makes Perfect" and "Hanging Out to Dry." The latter was MacBean's poke at reviewers, whose names were emblazoned on T-shirts suspended from a clothesline.

Throughout, Hoefner would speak while executing moves, from high kicks and slithering hips to shadowboxing and shoulder shimmying. Disc jockey John Wyatt created a live sound collage, and there was even audience participation: We were told to put on name-bearing T-shirts that had been placed under our seats, and thus was a dance constructed, reconstructed (shirts were removed) and finally, deconstructed. A terrific piece and tour de force for Hoefner.

Lauren Winslow Kearns' lwk-Bodytalk presented "Identifications," including the witty "My Hot Topic," in which Kearns, Rebecca Keyser, Geoffrey Kimbrough and Sally E. Lambert riffed to a Margaret Atwood text, the "topic" referring to a certain female body part.

Kearns' solo, "Everywhere I Look," had her twitching against a reflective screen; "Mouthing Mozart," with Keyser and Lambert, accompanied by pianist Jannine Livingston, featured mimed screams and unisons. The pair also took turns shining in "Love Moments," a lyrical work with piano (Livingston) and sax (performed live by the composer, George Gomez-Wheeler), replete with caressing and artful leaps.

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