Friday, April 27, 2018

Oren Barnoy premieres a new dance trio at JACK

Paul Hamilton in a new work by Oren Barnoy
(photo: Scott Shaw)

You'll find the name of the new trio by choreographer Oren Barnoy if you click on this: (symbol). I'm told there is no official pronunciation, but there might be a rhythm. The glyph resembles something from one of those unauthorized offshoots of Reiki, but the dance itself--which left Paul Hamilton, Candace Tabbs and Molly Lieber dripping and glistening in sweat after its 25 minutes--is more-marathon workout than soothing. The aim is spiritual, though, described as Barnoy's "version of a daily prayer through movement" and a "continuous action...unrelenting ritual...towards transcendence."

Performed in the simple, aluminum-foil surround of Brooklyn's JACK, the piece's exertions bear the same twisty, swirly hieroglyphics of the enigmatic title and its look of a complicated infinity. Dancers, dressed in unremarkable black clothing, come and go, thrusting and retracting with low-dipping torsos and reaching, scooping, swinging, windmilling arms. I imagine some viewers might get into this while others eventually begin to tune it out when it does not appear to be turning into anything. For me, visual drama happened whenever two bodies were at play--at prayer?--in proximity to one another, activating shape and energy in the negative space between. I found my attention snapping to these interactions. On the whole, though, the entire ride can be enjoyable.

(symbol)--part of JACK's Images//Landscapes series, curated by Stacy Grossfield--continues tonight and tomorrow, Saturday, with performances at 8pm. For information and tickets, click here.

505 1/2 Waverly Avenue (between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue), Brooklyn (C or G to Clinton-Washington)

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