|Gregory Dolbashian, dancer-choreographer|
and artistic director of The DASH Ensemble
(photo: Lloyd Stevie)
DASHOW, six scenes that flash by, was my first look at the company. I especially enjoyed Dolbashian, a shaggy-haired, loose-limbed clown with transparent personality. DASHOW, which he carefully and lovingly credits as a collaboration with his dancers, is drawn from his story.
In amusing vignettes with speech and movement, we learn how a youth--awkward and naive, though confident at heart--won an Ailey scholarship; how a straight male, eager to meet women dancers, adjusted to life around a lot of gay men; how there are at least four Dolbashian personae, from hothead to business wiz. DASHOW spreads the man's rambunctious energies, inner conflicts and rigorous, even torturous, self-examination over the bodies of six other hardworking performers--Antonio Brown, Isaies Santamaria Perez, Christopher Ralph, Lilja Ruriksdottir, Lauren Santos and Elena Valls.
The choreography, when abstract and enigmatic, requires eager, full-bodied pliability to a great degree with dancers as 3D puzzle pieces that continuously lock in, entangle, disentangle and morph only to tangle again. In duets or ensembles, they connect in ways that appear functional to the point of being manipulative. Question: What is a hand for? Answer: To attach to this spot on another dancer and make that body move in a new way. It's fascinating to track.
DASHOW is a swift current, over soon enough for it to not lose that power to fascinate. It made me wonder what else Dolbashian has to say for himself.
Sample a Dolbashian duet with dancers Daisuke Omiya and Christopher Ralph (click here). Follow the company on Facebook, and keep watch for a chance to see DASHOW on July 2 at Central Park's SummerStage series.