Friday, September 10, 2010

Sperber's "Naomi" @Brazil

Naomi is a handsome site-specific work that drills into its site on an almost cellular level. In 2005, choreographer Anna Sperber founded Brazil, the Bushwick studio in which this quintet plays out. Collaborating with lighting mage Joe Lavasseur, she brings out dramatic beauty in this humble loft space.

As the opening night audience squeezed into two tightly-spaced rows of folding chairs along one side of the studio, I suddenly had an unbidden, cheerful thought–that this is a place in which good things happen in this time of so many bad things. Where this thought came from–or why it arrived--I cannot guess. But Naomi is, in any case, a good thing.

Outside the room’s windows, a silken banner rustled in a strong breeze. Streetlights and lights from aircraft and nearby buildings added to an overall sense of embracing brightness and warmth. Sperber used this, opening the work with the studio’s lights out and keeping things that way for a long while, relying upon the external lights to silhouette her dancers--Julie Alexander, Natalie Green, Jennifer Lafferty, Tara Lorenzen and Rebecca Serrell Cyr--as they entered and circumnavigated the studio. Over 40 minutes, they defined a territory, patrolled it, energized it, complicated it, glamorized it, ritualized it, reflected it, haunted it.

Sperber continually brought the outside in–from the gorgeous wet glow of a neighboring building’s facade to the sudden flush of sound from an opened window. She drew our attention beyond the confines of the space, even having dancers gaze outside or extend themselves outside the windows. Add her seredipitous and marvelous collaboration with Bushwick to the credits for Levasseur, Nate Wooley (whose music helped animate Brazil) and FACADE/FASAD (whose costumes, at times, catch the light just so).

Seating is very limited and, according to Sperber's Web site as of this morning, tickets remain only for tonight’s 9:30pm show. Click here now for information and reservations.

1182 Flushing Avenue
Bushwick, Brooklyn
Jefferson Street station on the L (complete directions; map)

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