DanceView Times, New York edition
Letter from New York
Aszure Barton, a choreographer born in Canada who has performed widely in Europe and who is a winner of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s National Choreographic Competition, made an absolutely sensational New York debut at the Joyce SoHo last weekend with a Manhattan première of a suite entitled, with an overload of ingenuity, "Mais We," in 22 soles. Don’t let her ill-advised titles stop you from taking her seriously: this is the Arshile Gorky of choreographers. She can make dances in the spirit—and using the technical procedures—of any major choreographer you can think of, and she still conveys the impression of being a distinct original. Her tone is dark: vexed, grieving, sometimes sardonic. But, my God, it’s a dance tone. Her company of youngsters, many of them also native Canadians, is out-of-this-world wonderful, too, each a distinctive Guarnerius or Strad. The score, as you’ll see in the casting below, is a motley arrangement from sources far and wide; indeed, the only flaw I can point to in the half-hour suite is that there are so many rich, compelling dances that the whole is difficult to absorb on one viewing. Still, every section is a miniature dance essay, whole unto itself, and every one presents its dancers as characters-in-the-making, passing through emotional tones and structural astonishments at warp speed. When the group of 11 (Barton among them), costumed in long, black coats with white cuffs reminiscent of pilgrim garb, instantaneously assembled for a passage in which their swaying, grapevine-like unison steps transformed them into one, huge censer, swinging from wall to wall, I thought that the audience was going to explode from its seats. Aszure Barton, where have you been? Where are you going? And when will you come back? The art of choreography needs you. –Mindy Aloff
and Choreographer: Aszure Barton
please. . .
We,” in 22 soles*
* According to a company press release, a similar-sounding dance by Barton, called “Mais We,” in 18 soles, was performed at the Williamsburg Art neXus (WAX) in Brooklyn, in December 2002, on a shared program with choreographers Nell Breyer and Robert Battle, called “Assorted Goods.” However, a 2002 Flash Review of “Assorted Goods” by Darrah Carr for The Dance Insider speaks of Mais We, in 20 Soles.
** In The Village Voice of 9-15 July 2003, Paroma Basu reviewed Aszure Barton in this solo, alone, from a May 2003 concert of 14 young choreographers, called “Joyce SoHo Presents: 12 Works Exploring a Range of Worlds.”
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