DOPPELGANGER DANCE COLLECTIVE, SARAH KONNER, AUSTIN SELDEN DANCE
September 15, 2017
The "Soaking WET" series curated by David Parker and Jeff Kazin opened at West End Theater with a focus on duets. Once again, Jay Ryan dazzled with his lighting design in this seemingly ceilingless space for each work.
Coming from Providence, Rhode Island, Doppelganger Dance Collective, Artistic Directors/Performers: Shura Baryshnikov, Danielle Davidson, made their NYC debut with Paul Singh’s Oracles 1 & 2 set to Entr’Acte by Caroline Shaw, recording performed by the Calidore String Quartet. Dressed in black, loose jumpsuits, the two handsome women have an easy connection to their bodies and each other. Davidson often dances with a twinkle, while Baryshnikov, the daughter of Mikhail Baryshnikov and actress Jessica Lange, generally is more intense. Singh choreographed his dancers with gentle isolations, in frontal and side facing juxtapositions. Initially grounded and erect, Oracle evolves with light jumps in place, that brought a “Wow” from the 4 year old sitting next to me.
The Brooklyn based Sarah Konner and Austin Selden Dance performed their Etude, with music being Hamilton Circuit by Carter Scholz, Windmills of Your Mind by Noel Harrison. Beginning and closing entwined on the floor, Konner and Selden drew our attention to the logic of somatic movement. Etude never digresses from a study of harmony; these two always agree and maintain their synergy whether in contact or a few feet apart.
The third choreography, an excerpt from The Queen's Dream by Heidi Henderson, introduces a live cellist, Adrienne Taylor performing Unchained Melody by Alex North, Andante from Mozart String Quartet No. 4 in C Major, K 157. The choreographer, considerably larger than the Doppelgangers, joins Baryshnikov & Davidson to slowly circle the cellist with a pensive, downward gaze. The three might be pondering their fate as idle guests in an Elizabethan establishment, dressed in layers of off-white collars, undergarments and skirts. Henderson got a giggle when she broke from her musing to snack, and then plopped on the floor, leaned on the back wall to do needle work on her long train, while the other two plodded on.
As Doppelganger Dance Collective was just founded in 2015 as a repertory company offering choreographic commissions each season, it will be interesting to see how their repertory grows.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers