By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
"Huh?" I replied.
Later, in another dance called Rain, Pavlik and Wilson did dance for me the way I wanted them to. They were silk, they were sex, they were raindrops on a windshield running into each other. They were dancerly, animal-like, transcendent. They were angels and they were lovers. I could've watched the slithering, sensual beauty of Rain for an hour and a half, instead of the usual post-modern fare that was doled out.
The last time I saw Kraig Patterson dance, he was the cross-dresser sur la pointe in Mark Morris' The Hard Nut, an irreverent take on The Nutcracker. Patterson played the French maid with the little black dress and white frilly apron. His long, thin legs bourreed in parallel position as he served the guests at the Christmas party.
Patterson's skills as a comic dancer--a rare feat in modern dance--are in evidence in his two pieces, Flys and Boils, as is his penchant for showing off his butt. In Boils, he uses Max Reger's Fantasie Yber Bach, Op. 46 to help create a Boris Karloff, silent-film inspired atmosphere piece. Patterson's small dances are lots of fun but lightweight.
To say these choreographers are inspired by Mark Morris--most of them danced with him at one time or another--may be somewhat true. And while each displays a talent for making movement, none of the choreographers on this program approach Morris in his ability to integrate comedy, sensuality, musicality, and farce.
I attended "New Dances" mostly to see Holly Williams' premiere of Siroco. Williams, a Dallas dancer and choreographer, also danced with Morris, and is now a heavyweight in the Dallas dance community. Her piece, performed to Vivaldi, was lovely--the movement was gracious, open, yielding, and sometimes amusing. But the piece was oddly safe in tone. Even when the dancers are apparently blown by a maelstrom, they move gingerly, without risk. As dancerly and structurally pleasing as the piece was, it sometimes bordered on tedium.
But my mother quite liked it.