Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tami Stronach premieres "Me and Not Me"

It's possible to find yourself completely lost in a work shaped by Tami Stronach. Lost and wondering if you should have brought along some bright red yarn to unspool as you walked so that, later, you could retrace your steps.
Tami Stonach (l) and Lindsey Dietz Marchant and that crazy little bike in Me and Not Me

A kind of poetic disorientation can work to the choreographer's benefit, but not always. When her drive and facility with movement, her fascination with relationships between dancers, run on long, it looks as if she's a little lost, too. But not in Me and Not Me, that brash duet between the choreographer and Lindsey Dietz Marchant, both articulate, masterful performers. Stronach gave this artful piece its world premiere last night at Dance New Amsterdam, along with a solo from repertory (Mother Tongue, with Dietz Marchant dancing like Isadora-gone-postmodern) and a work in progress (Closer, a more lighthearted quartet toying with DNA's space and our focus of attention). If you enjoy dance that treats human nature in its complexity from the inside out, Stronach's evening at DNA could be a wise choice for your weekend.

The title, Me and Not Me, hints that the two characters might be two sides of the same woman, as easily as they could be a literal Self and Other. It also suggests the rejection of something inside a person that she does not want to see and accept. The piece pits a fairly well-rooted (and ferociously energetic) Stronach against the irrational vision of Dietz-Marchant, a full-grown woman making her wobbly and crash-prone way, 'round and 'round, on a small child's bike, strewing aromatic yellow flowers (that made me sneezy) and, when she is not astride the bike, clinging to, pawing at and struggling with the choreographer. (I made a note: "So, Tami, who was the impossibly difficult person in your life?") The women handle each other with stubbornness, resistance and deep need. Jane Shaw contributes a resonant sound design--a mixtape of gorgeous Czech folk and pop--now, I'll need to seek out more music by Karina Denike--interspersed with the grating, repetitious streaming of anxiety and OCD. Go-to lighting guy Joe Levasseur, once again, works his painterly magic against the women's skin.

Now through Saturday evening, 7:30pm

Information and tickets

Dance New Amsterdam
280 Broadway (entrance on Chambers Street), Manhattan

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