Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Noworol's Fringe element

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Patricia Noworol's fascinating Circuits feels "but-kitchen-sinky"--as in, everything but the kitchen sink--and sprawly and elusive but, even so, unusually tidy. How's that possible? I have no idea, but there it is.

This hour-long Fringe Festival piece begins even as the audience assembles and settles in, and then it appears to restart a few times--or Noworol's words suggest that it's restarting--as the choreographer gives an order to her sound person and, for our benefit, reiterates that Circuits was "miraculously created" in just two months, collaboratively, with improvisation. But if that feels as if she's toggling rewind/forward, that toggling also feels curiously smooth and expertly controlled.

The work goes on to amalgamate a load of ideas and encounters and impulses, and it puts potentially-charged emotional experiences on display in the form of challenges (the excruciating "Take your top off, Chelsea" sequence), personal narrative (Nick's first job in a zoo and a memory of his favorite charge, the emus) and physical gutsiness (including a lot of people repeatedly throwing themselves at one another). But it's all executed by Noworol's performers with a cool, fairly uniform affect that's kind of unsettling because, under their deceptively serene surface, there's just so, so much.

Ultimately, it might be hard to put your finger on whatall's going on, overall, in Circuit. But that's probably Noworol's way: to get the viewer to plunge in anywhere, look around, maybe take a sharp interest in one thing or another and see where that leads. Every viewer can resurface with something different and interesting. Her well-coordinated team of dancers makes it rewarding: Chelsea Bonosky, Nicholas Bruder, Matthew Oaks, Christina Noel Reaves, Elliott Reiland, Mika Yanaghira and the gazelle-like choreographer herself.

Circuits continues tonight at 8pm, Friday at 7:45pm and Sunday at 1:45pm at the Robert Moss Theatre, 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor, Manhattan. For reservations (strongly recommended), call 866-468-7619.

Patricia Noworol Dance Company

New York International Fringe Festival

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