Sally Gross and Company

At the Construction Company
10 East 18th Street, New York, NY
May 18, 2003

A Review

The process of viewing dance is really a Zen journey. One needs to put aside one's self and join the moment perceived. Those who can do that would have appreciated this evening's offerings.  I can.  I did.

You who know the Construction Company know you must ring the outside bell to get into the downstairs lobby, that the elevator is slow, that you go to the third floor where you are greeted by a gallery atmosphere, and that you can see from any seat because of good risers.  The surprise (or perhaps I should have expected it) was the audience — a diverse group of “golden agers” — which prompted me to ask my neighboring viewer, who, what, why?  The answer: many of these people were members of Sally’s dance class; others, neighbors from Westbeth — all who are clearly supportive of her.

Sally presented herself in a new solo, Apostrophe — hair tightly coiffed, costumed in a beautifully tailored, brown pantsuit.  She danced a quiet floating, skillfully punctuated with quiet tensions.  Although I resented the creaking floorboards and the occasional foot sounds that accidently broke the spell that Sally was evoking, I found the work compelling.

Then followed a series of dances, grouped together in a work called AHA and well danced by Jamie Di Mare, Emily Schottland and Gabriela Simon.  Here I was presented me with images rather than atmosphere.  Two separate figures on the floor gradually coalesced like some cold life form.  Three figures moved across the cyclorama as ticker-tape figures.  From there, several well-performed interludes, solos, duets, and trios emerged, all adhering to Beverly Blossom’s definition “dance is the carving of space.”  The last dance was an intriguing rhythmic study wherein a bamboo pole served as the percussion instrument.

Sally's work over the years has become more and more pollished; that is, the motion is carefully founded, developed, and presented.  It had seemingly lost the wonderful edge of humor that it once had, but the trio’s unexpected exit through a door in the cyclorama broke that train of observation.

It was glad I went, and I hope that more of Sally’s old Henry Street Playhouse cohorts attended the second performance.  Did you?

— Ruth Grauert