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UP IN THE AIR.

UP IN THE AIR AEROS ROYCE HALL, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA JANUARY 11-28, 2001

The argument over what is art and what isn't rages on in some quarters despite the seeming irrelevance of such definitions. Bottom line, we live in a boundary-less universe where the intermingling of high/low art elements often obscures universal truth with transient fancy.

The world premiere of Aeros, a collaborative creation of Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons and Moses Pendleton, with input from the folks who gave us Stomp, Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, is performed by gold medalists from the Romanian Gymnastics Federation.

Dance audiences can easily spot the marks of Pendleton and Ezralow from their histories with Pilobolus and then Momix. Them, as with Aeros, the emphasis is on bodies, their antic juxtapositions and their weird capabilities. Of late, Pendleton seems perfectly happy to reconfigure the human form, so what we see are startling images of performers walking cross-stage on their hands to a nicely syncopated rhythm, no less. Who are these beings with the willowy twin torsos (legs), stepping out on foreshortened stumpy twigs (arms functioning as legs)? Well, they're a species of people articulating a whole new personality in their upside-down states.

The vignette, with its quartet of bare-chested musclemen around a poker table, their biceps and pectorals effectively lit by the low-hanging overhead fixture, is funny and provocative. Along comes a seductress, walking on hands, her head totally obscured, her all-important upper extremities (legs) preening, bending sensuously, her luscious high arches winking in best come-hither style. This type of conscious wit is unfortunately rare in the full-length show, with its unidentified numbers following one after another in revue format.

After intermission, we see a mostly New-Age miasma through a scrim darkly; that is, slow-motion human kaleidoscopes turn to music that sounds as if its players were drugged. This lengthy number on a jungle gym was little more than filler in the program.

Later, percussionist extraordinaire Matt Scanlon zapped the proceedings to life with his heartbeat accompaniments for the acrobats, who performed a dazzlingly virtuoso array of cartwheels, somersaults and every variety of flips and vaults imaginable.

Promoted as spectacular family entertainment, Aeros's The Next Step would be at home anywhere: Las Vegas, Radio City Music Hall, half-time shows, and especially at the all-purpose performing arts centers of Anywhere, USA. But let's not talk about art.
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:PERLMUTTER, DONNA
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Dance Review
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Words:396
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