Performing Arts: Dance
May 22, 2015
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago danced works from Jiri Kylian, Alejandro Cerrudo and Nacho Duato Tuesday evening as part of their two-week stay at the Joyce Theater in New York.

Program B opened with Kylian’s “Falling Angels” one of his six “black and white” works that have become staples of Western contemporary dance. Eight female dancers in black bike-tards and short tan leather lace up shoes walk forward from the back in jagged lines. They move in slow motion until reaching their designated spot, striking syncopated poses one by one.

“Angels” picks up momentum and turns into a multifaceted work with a comedic edge. It’s raw in interpretation but cemented by formation. In short solos the women bring sauciness and attack that vitalizes Kylian’s movement trove. Emilie Leriche in particular has fluidity in her phrases -one turn spiraling into the next while her arms remain placid and full as if treading through water with each swing.

Three men bare it all, literally, in Cerrudo’s “Pacopepepluto.” Set to music from Dean Martin and Joe Scalissi, dancers Johnny McMillan, David Schultz, and Jonathan Fredrickson devour the stage in nude dance belts. Each dancer takes a solo, all with similar ferocity but a different vibe. As Fredrickson circles the stage in a run with “that’s amore,” singing him on, it’s hard not to fall in love with these athletes and well, studs.

Theatre and dance mix and attempt to meld in Cerrudo’s “The Impossible.” A storyline not so clear to the audience is played out in an abstract narrative form, involving an older couple that comes in contact with memory, perhaps their younger selves, death and the journey to it. A diagonally facing wall with a mirror turned window and wall turned table sets the stage. Two dancers lead Ana Lopez and Fredrickson through a pas de deux. Ghost like behind them they initiate arm and leg movement with simple nudges and at times more direct displacements. Interspersed with surprises that need not be ruined, “The Impossible,” strikes a fine line of excitement and muddled construction.

Created for the company in 2005, Nacho Duato’s “Gnawa” is a rousing close to a technically sound show. A cast of 16 links arms tossing their heads back and forward, taping their feet on the ground while moving backwards, bodies shifting in a crisscrossed pattern. Women In blue dresses and men in shimmery pants, they fluctuate weight onto one another in partnering moves while softly puncturing their upper bodies through the air. Kelie Epperheimer and Jason Hortin in nude body suits are the outliers. They arise from the mix, Epperheimer climbing onto Hortin’s legs extending her body frontwards, while he anchors her back. It’s the seamless mesh of space and dynamic that culminates into a sharp and riveting number.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Bailey Moon

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