Saturday, May 10, 2014

HyperISH: Taking it from street to stage

Who's afraid?

These two words are the first uttered in HyperISH, an hour of power presented by the Amsterdam-based troupe ISH at The New Victory Theater, now through May 18. Dancers begin by creeping out under hazy light, wobbling atop a row of drab, ungainly platforms to woozy music--the first and last time you'll believe that any of these seven rambunctious men and women have ever suffered a moment of fear.

Founded in 1999 by Marco Gerris, ISH draws from diverse sources--hip hop, club dancing, acrobatics, ballet, Kathak, capoeira and other martial arts. A choreographic collision for sure, but you'll be happy to know that it works, thanks to Gerris's imagination and the outlandish talent and charisma of dancers like Micka Karlsson, Shailesh Bahoran and especially the unbelievable Martin Barnes. What does not work so well is Gerris's well-intentioned concept, a mess of dramaturgidity obviously aimed at young audiences.

When it is not just about fantastic dancing, HyperISH is sort of about alienation, about finding one's True Self despite the distractions and pressures of conformist, consumerist society, about our obsession with cyber-connectedness and being liked and...Liked. And so forth. The Catcher in the Rye has been cited as an inspiration. It tries way too hard.

But let the dancing help you forget all that. Don't overthink this show. Just go and watch what happens.

HyperISH runs through May 18. For program and ticket information, click here.

New Victory Theater
209 West 42nd Street (Times Square), Manhattan

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