The Deborah Hay Dance Company.
What is Deborah Hay doing? Her dancers grunt and crawl a around on hands and knees, gesticulate madly, talk in nonsense language, and twist their faces into grimaces. But describing what the dancers do tells nothing of what they're doing. Hay is a wizard at finding cues--word instructions, stories, images--that allow her performers to discover unexpected kinetic depths in themselves.
Hay cut her choreographic teeth with the Judson Dance Theater experimenters and toured with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in 1964. Now Austin-based, she explores leer singular vision of dance as a practice of human action, making large winks for untrained dancers--some not even meant for an audience to see--and solos for herself and others. Her dances are notated and recalled through the narratives that underlie the process, rather than specific movements.
For The Match, Hay worked daily for a month with four arresting performers, inventing a brilliantly eccentric dance for each: Wally Cardona's release sensibility is powered by Juilliard-trained technique; Mark Lorimer declaims like all eager poet with a mouthful of pebbles; Chrysa Parkinson twitches long, spidery limbs; and Ros Warby is a crunchy-granola seductress. In performance each dancer appears in a different solo each night, and the hour long dance is woven together with group passages in which all the dancers seem to be executing the same instructions, but with their own movement choices. Jennifer Tipton's lighting continually reshapes the space with deceptively simple white light.
The dancers' dedication to Hay's process radiates through their moving bodies; they surprise and amuse us with the profound simplicity and directness of their actions. And hay's imagination stimulates ours as we watch. The process continues after these performances, as the dancers continue daily practice of the material on their own to turn it into individual solos.
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|Title Annotation:||The Match|
|Article Type:||Dance Review|
|Date:||May 1, 2004|
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