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Zig Zag Takes A Few Baffling Turns. (Reviews: National).

ZIG ZAG TAKES A FEW BAFFLING TURNS ZIG ZAG BALLET STAMFORD CENTER FOR THE ARTS STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT SEPTEMBER 29, 2001

The success of a repertory company hinges not only on the talent of the performers and creativity of the choreographers, but also on the vision of the artistic director. Zig Zag Ballet, resident dance company of the Stamford Center for the Arts, has an incredible venue to call home and a group of ten gifted, individualistic dancers to enliven its stage. But without well-crafted, or even crafted, choreography, this company cannot shine.

Zig Zag unveiled two world premieres: Pearls, choreographed by Jahain Clark, and Entertaining Thoughts About Irreversible Facts, with music and choreography by Joel Schnee. The program closed with Darrell Grand-Moultrie's Pulse. As artistic director of the company, Brett Raphael chooses and commissions its repertoire, and one hopes his selection of future choreographers will be more discerning. While it was exciting to see Zig Zag's dancers performing a wide range of styles, they seem capable of handling more thoughtful and coherent works.

Pearls was a contemplative balancing act that paired eight dancers with large, silvery physio balls. Clark, the choreographer, performed and toured with MOMIX before co-founding her own troupe in 1995, and Pearls recalls works by MOMIX in its conflation of dancers, props, and costumes. Zig Zag's performers maneuvered the balls to a pulsing, Arabic-sounding score by Tuu and Trans-Global Underground, at times diving over the balls on their stomachs and landing in asymmetrical poses. Shiny costumes by Elena Comendador enhanced the magical intertwinings of people and objects. The dancers created beautiful moments when they held the balls aloft on outstretched arms and raised their legs in small attitudes, suggesting Mercury-like creatures.

Entertaining Thoughts was a hodgepodge of random duets, cross-dressing, and verses of Pushkin's poetry read in Russian by dancer Anna Mikhaylenko. Schnee appears to have copied choreographic methods of Pina Bausch and other Tanztheater artists who mesh text with dramatic fits and dancing, Unfortunately, it was difficult to determine why the dancers suddenly burst out laughing and ran off the stage, or put on each other's clothing, or appeared to seduce a mannequin. It was great to see the dancers tackle the different emotions and theatrical elements, but there was also a sense of relief when the chaotic interactions came to an end.

Grand-Moultrie's Pulse was a driving, pure dance work set to music by United Future Organization. Comendador's slinky black swimsuit-like costumes for the ensemble matched the spirit of the choreographer's jazzy, asymmetrical movement. Natrea Blake opened Pulse with a beautifully performed solo and was captivating throughout the piece with her spunky, confident moves.
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Title Annotation:Review; Pearls, Entertaining Thoughts About Irreversible Facts
Author:Mattingly, Kate
Publication:Dance Magazine
Article Type:Theater Review
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:439
Previous Article:Finding Balance In Two Acts. (Reviews: National).
Next Article:Contemporary Feast At 'Fest. (Reviews: New York).
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