DAGMAR SPAIN/DANCE IMPRINTS
June 23, 2012
Two men sit facing us. One is dead silent and starring straight ahead. The other speaks and asks questions that no one responds to…“How does it feel to look through the lenses of life?”
Opening with the movement theater work Await... we are taken from one scene to the next, each slightly bizarre and unfinished, stirring up intriguing storylines. We watch Dance Imprints Director, Dagmar Spain put on white cardboard cut out butterfly wings and undulate her body against and away from a column where three stuffed bags hang – the cocoons. Moments later the lights fade down and up, exposing husband and wife figures poised on chairs beginning a back and forth of complaints that turns into a soft image of peace – their palms touching – then suddenly an aggressive kissing/neck biting exchange.
Women in little black dresses sit in chairs facing each other, why, we don’t know. Newspaper is balled up and tossed, and stuffed under one’s dress. This figure, now seemingly pregnant, rises and moves, with a woman in white following her as if her spotter. The work closes with a male solo that ends with him muttering “I hate ants!” followed by Spain hunching at a café table with a recording of a woman’s thoughts fearing she’s being stood up echoing through the space. Closure to the various snippets exploring time and waiting come as a man greets Spain, a flower in hand, saying “Hey, you came early.”
The second act of the just over an hour long performance presents the work Yellow is not Gold. A mysterious dance that highlights five women in flowing frayed white and taupe costumes (Kristina Karmazinova) amidst hanging material and curtains, it is co-directed by Spain with Carolyn Morrow, with movement created collaboratively by the performers. It is a wonderfully mystic journey as each individual explores the idea of treasures in life - “Amber is a jewel. Who wants to be a jewel?” a voice reverberates through the speakers as one ponders what to name her child.
Through winding solos with draping fabric, projections of sand drawings and a pacing violinist, the five women join intermittently. Their heads bob back and forth, they strip off their layers to nude colored bras and panties, they pick one another off the ground only to revert back to the floor. Deirdre Towers is mesmerizing in her solo, her soft and elegant movement trickling down to the twist in her fingertips. The mix of vulnerable moments and images of strength contrast in the dance well, creating a foreign place where these women are alone with their own uncertain stories and yet coexist, aware of one another.
Dagmar Spain/Dance Imprints presented Yellow is not Gold including Await… at Danspace Project at St. Marks Church.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY – Jennifer Thompson