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DAVID PARKER & THE BANG GROUP.

DAVID PARKER & THE BANG GROUP DANCE THEATER WORKSHOP SEPTEMBER 22-OCTOBER 10, 1999 REVIEWED BY GUS SOLOMONS JR

There was a lot to love about David Parker's concert, not least its brevity: four small dances. Parker is a big man with a wit to match and a penchant for the rhythms of musical golden oldies.

Tender Traps features the title sang and other favorites like "Ready, Willing, and Able" and "Young at Heart." Jeffrey A. Kazin and Kathryn Tufano cover their eyes and grope toward a reluctant embrace. He lies supine with her hips balanced on his feet, but when they try to neck upside down, his legs keep pushing her just out of reach. Their limbs tangle in a barefoot tap dance that backtracks every time the record jumps.

In Pop, Tufano avoids by a hairsbreadth stepping on plastic bubble wrap but finally succumbs and snap-crackle-pops all over it to the rhythms of Schotts & Dykehead Caledonian Pipe Band music.

Commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop, Dances for Dylan Dog is based on a popular Italian cartoon character that was inspired more by television's "Charlie's Angels" than by anything written by Puccini. Based on Dylan Dog, a dance/opera work composed by Mario Tutino, it Features gun-toting babes Tufano and Parker in blond wigs; Tufano becomes a scantily clad vamp who lays an endless acrobatic kiss on Dylan (Kazin) before he shoots her with his toe.

The centerpiece and most satisfying work is the premiere of Critical Mass. Parker joins his longtime collaborator Sara Hook (they are both fabulous performers who always seem to have some odd interior dialogue going on). To songs by Schubert, Stephen Foster, and William Bolcom, the two frumpy intimates--she in a halter-top cocktail dress, he in a football jersey and sweats--frolic about in rhythmic counterpoint on delicately articulate feet, with a precarious gracefulness that's always on the verge of toppling. The pair even accompanies its own dancing with a well-sung rendition of Mozart's "La ci darem la mano," then bows with bravura to the taped ovation. They're funny and sad and wonderfully human.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:SOLOMONS, GUS J.
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Dec 1, 1999
Words:346
Previous Article:DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM.
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