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DANCE REVIEW

Elements come together well in outdoor show at Skirball

The season's series of location-specific Siteworks performances draws to a close with a four-part concert in the Mark Taper Courtyard.

May 06, 2003|Victoria Looseleaf | Special to The Times

That dance can be a healing art was proved again at Skirball Cultural Center on Sunday, when the last of this season's four Siteworks concerts was presented under a cerulean sky.

Making felicitous use of the Mark Taper Courtyard in the site-specific series, choreographer Parijat Desai, in collaboration with Liam Clancy, Iddrisu Saaka and Denise Uyehara, performed "Water, Tree, Stone," an elegiac take on the notion of peace. Set to Jonathon Grasse's sound collage that veered from techno to Portuguese love songs and talk of cruise missiles, the quartet traversed the patio with butoh-like deliberateness before brandishing a large papier-mache globe among them. Balancing it on heads and fingers, as well as steadying it over their bodies, the weight of the world was thus distributed. The finale saw the dancers pulling wooden eggs from the lotus-blooming pond, mystically setting them afloat.

Also dancing with the pond as a backdrop: April McLeod, Christine Hill and Elaine Reusing in Rebecca Romero's "Outside," a brief work capitalizing on dreamy turns and wistful armwork that mirrored the gently blowing grasses. In addition, Romero's cheeky "Inside" took place in front of the center's cafe, with the choreographer dancing this time and quasi-romancing McLeod, Hill and Reusing, to the befuddlement of the diners and the strains of Tom Waits.

Tamica Washington-Miller made a convincing shaman in "Space," with live percussion propelling her 20-minute, 16-person work to jubilant heights. The courtyard, awash in shimmying, jumping, twirling bodies, was reminiscent of a tribal love-in.

Completing the program: Rande Dorn's vacuous "Joyful Just Because," performed on the center's front steps, seemed a choreographic aside.

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