Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This week, journey "Between the Seas"

Between the Seas Festival, produced and directed by Aktina Stathaki, offers New Yorkers a diverse menu of performers and arts disciplines from all around the Mediterranean region. This year--the festival's second--Italy, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Albania, among other nations, are represented. It's a smashing idea, even though New York's glut of arts festivals--let alone individual arts and entertainment programs--makes it tough for a relative newcomer to establish a toehold.

Ido Tadmor in the Rachel Erdos solo, And Mr. (Photo by Gadi Dagon)

Tonight, it's worth the trip "between the seas"--or almost to Avenue C--for the chance to watch Ido Tadmor, a magnificent Israeli performer, dance in And Mr. (the choreographer's cut) by the British-born, Tel Aviv-based choreographer Rachel Erdos. Having seen this piece last evening, I'm not convinced that the original solo, And Mr., really needed to be expanded into a duet with Stefan Ferry. Stretching that initial half-hour of oddity into an externalized interaction brings out an unwanted preciousness, and it is simply too long. There seems enough Jekyll-and-Hyde duality and gnarliness within the tousled Tadmor alone as he interprets Erdos' stark, lacerating tangles of movement. It's a brilliant performance and, to my mind, Tadmor should be the end of the matter.

Vanessa Tamburi (Italy) and her FLUSSO Dance Project will open the evening again with Lost Rights, an ensemble piece inspired by the work of the late Italian journalist, Maria G. Cutuli, who was killed in Afghanistan. A well-intentioned piece, it nevertheless displays a disconnect between Tamburi's choreography and her stated theme of African women and children suffering poverty, disease, exploitation and abuse. Although the quartet of performers, who learned the piece in just two weeks, give it their all, the projected text and larger-than-life photo portraits--which carry the only connection to the serious theme--distract the eye and overwhelm the dancing.

Between the Seas Festival continues through Sunday, August 26, at Wild Project. Get complete programming and schedule information here.

Wild Project
195 East 3rd Street (between Avenues A and B), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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