September 27, 2015
The spotless black and white stage area asserts a neo abstract baroque theme in Finish choreographer Kenneth Kvarnstrom‘s TAPE at the BAM Fisher Theater. Altogether six dancers interact with the single, exceptional lutenist Jonas Nordberg who both performs on stage, and describes various Baroque music forms.
Despite the formality of Baroque structure, the dancers loop together, connecting and pushing off from different body parts. In combination, the dancers and musician form an interactive unit with themselves and the audience.
Simple comments about the era, or personal impressions segue into more politically attuned musings. After reflecting on the 150 year Baroque era, we are asked: “Where are the women composers?”
While the clear, relaxing sound of the Baroque preludes, fugues, sarabandes curl over the 90-minute performance, Tape explores panoply of physical sensations—dancing with eyes shut, pushing bodies with clenched fists and rolling languidly over the floor.
About midway, Nordberg trades in his lute for a Theorbo, ostensibly a lute attached to a giraffe neck. In the white halo designed by Jens Sethzman the image of man and instrument is transformed into a work of art. In fact, I kept thinking the black gaffer tape that framed shoes, a guitar case and other items on the white Marley floor could be projected around Theorbo creating a painting. In the same way, the dancers move in a conversational manner, curving bodies and releasing energy in pools of lyrical soliloquies.
Without being didactic, TAPE draws a picture of counterpoint and fugue musical and movement voicings inside the peaceful beauty of geometry.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis