John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
June 17, 2004
by George Jackson
copyright 2004 by George Jackson
published June 21 2004
Lucy Bowen McCauley, one of the Washington area's busiest choreographers,
is off in a new direction. She's discovered the instrumental ensemble
Tone, which specializes in music of high intensity. The group's art is
one of ultra-amplification. Several people sitting near me covered their
ears when Tone built up to a climax, but there was a bonus: the two numbers
Bowen McCauley has set so far seemed formal and serious. The first, Telemetry,
was a solo for Alison Crosby, a remarkable dancer with a squarish body.
Crosby, in the years when she was dancing ballet, seemed to model herself
on Soviet ballerinas like Marina Semyonova, and although less massive,
achieved a sculptural quality and a proud bearing that impressed with
its commanding carriage of the head and shoulders. In this piece, dressed
in a black leotard, Crosby looked like an Olympic champion. The movement
focused on her torso—pulses that became almost violent, a long and
slow arching backward and, too, elongations. Crosby registered both Tone's
sound and the pull of gravity.
Sketch, the other dance to Tone's live accompaniment, at first
also looked sportive. The two women, Elizabeth Gaus and Katerina Rodgaard,
and the one man, Robert Sidney, crouched as if waiting for the signal
to race. Bowen MacCauley, though, became more interested in exploring
dynamic tensions and resolutions among the three individuals than in sending
them down the track. Sidney proved to be a subtle dance actor, both in
Sketch and in the program's opener.
That first piece, For No Good Reason At All, is a dance suite
to taped music by a very different group, Hesperus. This ensemble's country
fiddling and singing already tend to the precious, and Bowen McCauley's
overly illustrative and excessively cute choreography was no antidote.
The oriental stylization of Saffron Dreams featured Ingrid Zimmer's long
line and Chip Coleman's suave strength, but went on too long. Soaked,
Sylvana Christopher's solo for herself, was the one dance not by
Bowen McCauley. The piece was aptly named, particulalrly on this occasion
since some of the audience on their way to the performance had been caught
in a heavy dowpour. The solo explored diverse aspects of being drenched.
Wisely, Christopher limited herself to situations that can be conveyed
clearly through movement. Even so, with more experience, this young choreographer
will learn that a hint here and there when there's lots of depiction helps
like a pinch of pepper on potato puree.
Volume 2, Number 23
June 21, 2004
2004 George Jacksont
Jean Battey Lewis
Sali Ann Kriegsman
Alexandra Tomalonis (Editor)
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