Nadia Tykulsker: Saw you Yesterday
Kim Brandt: Clear Night
Losing your body is no easy feat. While it may not feel essential to you being you, it is essential to you doing you. Your mind controls your matter, and while the relationship is imperfect, it works more times than not. But what happens if you give yourself over to your physical impulses, indulge every whim and wiggle? Could flesh and blood extinguish the spirit? What might remain on your body?
The piece’s peripheral ingredients are few: a low L-shaped platform, an electronic score of vaguely meaningful white noise, and costumes that are alternately architectural (boxy black tops) or fluid (bits of scraggly chiffon, a silky robe). Yet there's much to watch at, to marvel in.
This can be attributed to Kim's choreography, which teems with texture and detail. Fingers curl, wrists cock, and toes flex. Bodies are bonsai trees clipped and stripped to create a tortured, compelling beauty. Each large action is the sum of tiny, discrete ones.
Fear in Porcelain unfolds as two simultaneous duets comprised of independent solos. In the background, Katie Dean and Amanda Hunt rest on the platform...They revolve in place, subtly and slowly shifting into poses that evoke a fashion spread. In the foreground, Tess Dworman assumes a wide-legged stance and skitters on her toes. Kim joins her for a walking sequence punctuated by quick directional pivots. Kim and Dworman crimp their torsos and stroke the floor with the tips of the fingers. Kim pulls her hair over her face; Dworman slumps on her belly. The piece ends with Dean and Hunt strutting off the platform and through the performing space as strobe lights flash and blind.
If this sounds a little weird, that’s because it is. It’s also exquisite, thanks to the tender clarity contouring the choreography. The four women live so completely, so comfortably in their bodies that the result is one of inadvertent, egoless seduction. You could spend all night and then the next watching the filigreed Fear in Porcelain.
Sam Kim: Fear in Porcelain (Erin Bomboy, DancEnthusiast)
Sam Kim: Fear in Porcelain (Stormy Budwig, Culturebot)
a rare gem... the pain of long-term relationships is clearly a subject Ms. Hummel understands how to express. A 45-minute duet for Ms. Dean and Calia Marshall, titled “down here,” recasts the playful push-pull of “Common Dance” into rare and harrowingly recognizable emotional truth. Mostly body language and made-up gestures, as if for the deaf, the work is closer to a silent play than to a conventional dance, although strong metaphorical use is made of the ability or failure to move in sync. Tiny human figures fashioned from aluminum foil serve as potent symbols for the buildup of old habits.
Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance (Brian Seibert, NY Times)