IVY BALDWIN DANCE
May 10, 2012
A man stands with one hand on his chest, breathing – loud and quick. As time passes his breaths
begin to form a curious, mesmerizing rhythm, until he stops suddenly, and the female dancer
standing patiently throughout, comes to life with movement. All the while a projection of a
single white line grows on the backdrop, dipping onto the floor, creating a doodle.
Before long the duo is joined by a third and the smooth finish to their moves is switched out for
jerky angular jabs of arms and legs, palms out, flurries of shaking. Performed by choreographer
Ivy Baldwin and dancers Lawrence Cassella, Molly Poerstel-Taylor and Eleanor Smith, Baldwin's "Ambient
Cowboy" flings us into a bizarre, dynamic environment, with ever-changing tones of loneliness,
love, and intensity.
In particular, the set design by Anna Schuleit created uniquely each night in real time and
projected onto the entire stage along with the piece offers a unique element. Despite moments of
stark loneliness focused repetitive dance phrases that ebb and flow in their patterns, there is this
other unexplained presence that is out of the performer’s control. As one falls to the ground, the
white scribbles become angrier, criss-crossing over her still body until she is completely covered
in this white splotch.
The music (Justin Jones) sneaks up on us and then fades away, giving the dancers’ bodies
moments to create their own rhythm accompanied by audible breaths and “swooshing” sounds, a
movement conversation of sorts.
"Ambient Cowboy" travels from warm scenes of a soloist rolling her shoulders quick and girly turns
into a classic partnering moment with Poerstel-Taylor spinning around like a dance figurine
in a jewelry box, guided by Cassella. Baldwin’s choreographic interest in deconstruction and
meshing of unexpected elements suits this piece well – you leave NY Live Arts unsure of where you just were,
in a good way.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY – Jennifer Thompson