Tonight was Fall for Dance, and I think I may have been a kill-joy for my friend. Rather than falling in love, I was untouched.
Perhaps I’m just out of step (all puns intended) with modern dance these days. Two of the 3 works we saw were so inextricably linked with pop culture that I can hardly call them dance. One seemed more like hip-hopped gang ritual and the other like a trick pony, which sparked ooh’s, ahh’s, and applause from the audience.
I remember criticisms of Pilobolus back in the ’70s. That’s not dance, moaned the critics. And maybe it wasn’t. Now, 2 generations of dancers later, I see Pilobolus watered down by gymnastics and Cirque du Soleil, making those ’70s dances look like Balanchine.
So, hungry for Dance with a capital D, I find myself liking Rite of Spring more and more, the piece my friend liked the least. At least the work had a coherent whole, with performances that served the whole, that created an effect. For me, that effect was visually intriguing, like game pieces moving on a chessboard. My friend found it repetitive and dull. We agreed it didn’t really go anywhere. Still, these will be the images I’ll remember from tonight’s performances.
SHEN WEI DANCE ARTS
Rite of Spring
Choreography by Shen Wei