Are We on the Edge?
Answers to timely and timeless questions at the Long Fringe
Dance Carousel 2004Austin Independent Choreographers
Running Time: 1 hr
One minute isn't a lot of time, choreographically speaking. You can barely begin a movement, much less the exploration of an idea through movement, before the clock runs out. Still, it's all the time that 10 local dance makers had to work with for this choreographic sampler. So what dance can you create in a mere 60 seconds? If you're Ellen Bartel, mastermind behind this showcase, you can serve up a darkly comic cafeteria fantasy, with three blood-spattered food-service workers on the jittery verge of collapse. If you're Nancy Moran, you can act out television fantasies, kicking out your best Jennifer Garner martial arts moves to music from Alias or reanimating yourself beyond death to the plinky theme from Six Feet Under. If you're Nancy Bain, you can illuminate the dance in an activity as mundane as fishing or recall a chilling memory of schoolyard cruelty and bigotry on a November day in 1963.
Each choreographer actually has four 60-second segments, so if you're Jim Chappeleaux, you can create variations on a theme, each minute-dance utilizing similar movements with different combinations of dancers or shown to the audience from varying perspectives, the better to highlight the fluid beauty of these bodies in motion. Or if you're Caroline Sutton-Clark, you can offer four views on the lot of the woman with child; her "Quintet for 10" had five adult women in various stages of pregnancy moving their round bellies in whimsical commentaries on the labor of getting to labor.
These and the rest of the 40 dances here are, generally speaking, appetizers that provide a taste of each choreographer's work, but they can be mighty flavorful, and taken together they are an eloquent reminder of the wondrous diversity with which we move and the wonderful banquet we enjoy from the many ways artists choose to interpret that. (Saturday, Jan. 31, 4:15pm)