ODC’s Program B, YBC, March 23, with a Conversation

15 May

Three works, Two If by Sea; Unintended Consequences: A Meditation; Triangulating Euclid

ODC’s three amazing Fates/Graces – call them what you will – have intriguing visions of the world around us, in addition to admirable practices and accomplishments. This trilogy manifests part of the evidence; the post-performance conversation allowed me to congratulate myself that I discerned at least 50% of their choreographic intentions. I am certain readers can appreciate that fleeting sense of satisfaction – “I got it!” What lingers six weeks later, induced by domestic necessities, let me say that I write with what I remember, and the fact I do remember says something about what impressed me.

Last summer Kimi Okada presented the evolving Two If by Sea to honor Vanessa Thiessen’s retirement from ODC’s ensemble, in a single night performance at the ODC Gallery. Natasha Adorlee Johnson assumed Thiessen’s role with Jeremy Smith in this tap-dance informed, Morse Code introduction of heterosexual intimacy and its dealings with the wider world. What a treat, a work which could and should be a perennial in ODC’s performing repertoire.

The couple starts in chairs on opposite sides of the stage, down front for the female, upstage left for the male. They tap out rhythmic questions in Morse Code, the girl responding more quickly, ready to move her chair, but the guy also moves forward in response. They continue, standing, the woman’s body more eloquently bent. Then the chairs are moved upstage right and entwining legs and proprietary arm movements ensue. When they rise the movements expand, some lateral grand jetes startle with sideways thrust from little apparent preparation. The state of coupledom was established as the movement shifts from establishing connection to fending off unknown intrusions, bringing the piece to its finish, the twosome surviving.

Seeing A Meditation:Triangulating Euclid for the third time, I think I begin to get it The company dances in black, the women in tights and a torso tunic of minimal proportions, each slightly different. The first section is clearly individual, geometric; then it moves into formulae meeting, not always serenely- actually with a fair amount of tussle; then the resolution slowly dissipates the figures. It’s a handsome work, one to gain something from at each viewing. I hope it is periodically revived.

Finishing these comments as tardily as I have, I regret to say Unintended Consequences does not linger in my mind in a manner like the other two on the program.

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