Thursday, December 12, 2013

Regina Nejman's new "story" emerges at Dixon Place

There's rippling vigor in Regina Nejman & Company in Nejman's new work, "...and this is the story thus far". The dancers--including Alicia Dellimore, Kristin Licata, Lindsey Mandolini, Julie MillerOscar Santana and the choreographer--enjoy themselves and their Dixon Place environs so thoroughly that one can imagine them hanging out long after the audience has left for the cold, Lower East Side streets.

One can imagine them continuing to loll on the balcony, dangling and fluttering their legs through the railings; continuing to melt, slip and swoosh against the theater's back wall; continuing to slither up and down the stairs between sections of audience seating. In our absence, they could give one another, instead of us, double air-kisses, shimmy to the musical recordings from the dancemaker's native Brazil, whirl on the floor on their sides as if dropping capoeira moves in a different dimension, and scatter about like football players. (That's soccer, of course, to all you US folks.) Nejman's film might go on running, too, so that she and her friends could convince themselves that they really are rolling along a rough, bush-lined road to a beach. Once there, they could find themselves helplessly mesmerized by the ocean's glow.

As a title, "...and this is the story thus far" certainly suggests an unfinished narrative. Much of this episodic, meandering piece seems tentative as well as dreamy in the way of early, easygoing dreams floating just below the surface of consciousness. Dreams from which you quickly awaken only to dip into another. There appears to not be a lot going on except, perhaps, the desire to touch something of home when far away from home.

Most of the tension--and I mean that in a good way--comes through sometimes fiery accompaniment by rock guitarist Britt Reagan. Nejman wisely folds Reagan, and his original music, into the action in interesting, physical ways, and there's a particularly loud, cacophonous scene in which dancers shout over one another--What's happening?, It doesn't make any sense! and the like--while Reagan's music growls back.

At times, you might want to ask the same questions of "...and this is the story thus far" but politely, because it doesn't matter that much. You're warm and having a pleasant time.

"...and this is the story thus far" will have one more performance--tonight at 7:30pm. For information and tickets, click here.

Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street (between Rivington and Delancey), Manhattan
(directions)

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