Misnomer dancers in “Rock. Paper. Flock.”, photo by ShaLeigh Comerford
Misnomer Dance Theater‘s Being Together, presented at the Joyce SoHo, consists of three independent pieces that each explores the idea of togetherness. But being with others, as it turns out, can still feel lonely. The struggle to connect with others was most apparent in “Too Late Tulip”, a mellow piece that portrays three women swiveling their hips to the pleasant sounds of a guitar. They never interact or make eye contact, but take turns observing – and admiring – a relationship between a man and woman.
“Rock. Paper. Flock.” strives to demonstrate the creative process. Dressed in a gray jump suit, goggles, and a pilot cap (his “choreographer’s hat”), artistic director and choreographer Chris Elam gives a variety of suggestions to the dancers, all of which seem to be disjointed. He says, “Everyone is Brynne”, “Do 52 fouettes upside down”, and “Dorian steals the cookies”, among other bizarre statements. The creative process is certainly different for every choreographer, but I wonder if this is an accurate portrayal of a studio rehearsal or experiment. Watching an open rehearsal at the company’s studio in Brooklyn would probably be more interesting.
Jennifer C. Harmer and Jenny Campbell in “Rock. Paper. Flock.”, photo by ShaLeigh Comerford
The final piece, “Zipper”, is a darker examination of the themes in “Too Late Tulip”. Set to an original score by Evan Ziporyn that was played by the Real Quiet ensemble (live the first week, and recorded the second week), the dancers’ hands twitch, their bodies form intricate knots, and they stare mysteriously into the audience. The movement ranges from primal to delicate. Whatever connections the dancers attempt to make with others are limited by their blank expressions and apparent detachment from their surroundings. Whether or not this is intentional is unknown, but it seems to hinder their ability to truly connect with – and appreciate – another person.
The final performance of Being Together at the Joyce SoHo will be broadcast live tonight at 8 PM EST, and will remain archived on Misnomer’s site until December 31, 2008.