Up in the Air.
Seeing exquisite juggling, lasso twirling, and hat-and-cane tricks onstage is rare enough these days. When these art forms are combined with dance, it's time to drop everything and go. Consummate movement artist Peter Davison's new one-man show, Up in the Air, makes for an enchanting evening. In his hands, simple props combine with poetry and prose to make magic.
Davison's style is not like the austerity of a Michael Moschen, nor the impish clowning of a Bill Irwin. Instead, his thread is one of thoughtful observation often laced with verbal and visual humor, backed up by deftness of hand and foot.
Act I of Up in the Air, entitled "Animate," explores movement and its meaning. It's one amazing bit after another, some tantalizingly brief, all brilliant: riding a six-foot unicycle and juggling some threatening-looking knives; twirling a twenty-foot lasso. Davison closes the act with a bang--literally--bringing out three Japanese drums that he plays by juggling a ball and two batons while reciting his poem "Rebound."
Davison may be his own toughest competition, however. Act II's autobiographical "It's About Time" lags when Davison sets aside the first act's marvelous undercurrent of object manipulation to ruminate on timely concerns. "It's About Time" is simply too long. At the end, though, Davison saves the evening: in his hands (and above his dancing feet) five small white balls travel through mind-boggling moves, marrying the elements he's spent the evening examining. At one point Davison turns around, juggling a simple cascade (balls moving inward) behind his back--a sightless bit that takes years to master.
Composer Wil Masisak adds a slinky, improvised jazz piano accompaniment referencing Bill Evans and Peanuts sound track composer Vince Garibaldi. Capping a largely witty and wonderful evening, Davison delivers several minutes of silent, blissful artistry that says everything.
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|Title Annotation:||Space for Dance, Boulder, Colorado|
|Article Type:||Dance Review|
|Date:||Apr 1, 1997|
|Previous Article:||Nicola Hawkins Dance Company.|