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Wally Cardona Quartet.


Wally Cardona may not construct his choreography in easily identifiable building blocks, but he frames it by creating structures that limit, extend, hide, and expose what the dancers do. Everywhere is his most adventurous architectural endeavor.

The stage is planted with rows of black four-by-fours, maybe 42 inches tall. As the audience seats itself, Cardona hikes back and forth across the stage, setting up additional columns. Blips of noise, what seem to be strong chords played on a synthesizer, punctuate the air. When Joanna Kotze and Kathryn Sanders enter, the ornate curlicues they fashion with their arms and hands, as they travel randomly forward and backward through the rows and around the posts, present a radical contrast to the precise alignment of the poles. Sometimes a limb tossed too vigorously accidentally knocks a post over. Cardona moves in to set it upright. With the appearance of Matthew Winheld the pace accelerates, for he bounds upright across the stage or hops crouched over between the columns, like Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor's patch.

Cardona reconfigures the landscape, placing some pieces horizontally on top of others, and the dancing, bisected by the horizontal bars, seems further restricted. When Cardona places one pole vertically on top of another, the dancers appear to be passing through gates or along passages. When he lines up the columns in a tight row, Winheld and Kotze are fenced in upstage. We observe the top half of this whimsical couple, arms entwined, traversing their private garden.

When Cardona destroys the fence, a new dancer, Kana Kimura, is revealed behind it and we seem to be in a different dance. While he and Sanders take turns dancing with Kimura, enjoying the expanse of newly vacant space, Winheld and Kotze, with concentrated fervor, use the columns to construct a boardwalk that ends in a staircase. The piece concludes with her looking out in one direction from the top of the stairs; he sitting forlornly at the bottom facing the opposite way.

The accompanying score by Phil Kline is sonorous and deeply textured. For part of it, the string quartet Ethel plays live, each member occupying a different box left and right of the stage, so that they face the audience. See
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Author:Thom, Rose Anne
Publication:Dance Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
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Next Article:Preview: Tero Saarinen Company.

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