Movement Research at Judson Church

May 5, 2003
Judith Sanchez Ruiz and Shelley Senter

A Review

This evening’s program started with a new work by Judith Sanchez Ruiz called, enigmatically, The Determined and the Undetermined of Being Human (work-in-progress).  Forget the title.  The dance was fascinating in the daring body works, use of positions, and footwork that may seem impossible but aren’t.

This new work held up well against the next work — the post-modern (this catch-all category again) classic of Yvonne Rainer, Trio A or The Mind is a Muscle, Part 1 (1966).  Those of you who know the work know that it is a duet of dancers joined mid-way by the third character, the sound score.  It is a sort of shadow dance wherein the number 1 dancer moves and the number 2 repeats the motion after so many beats.  The interest lies in the structure of the motion, in the interweaving of the cadences, and in the clarity of performance.  Both performers, Shelley Senter and Linda K. Johnson, are clean movers, free of stricture, and great fun to watch.

The third dance on the program was another new work with a score by Remy Charlip, and interpreted by Shelley Senter.  This dance, Instructions to New York (As It Were) (work-in-progress 2003), is the latest of Remy’s “Air Mail Dances,” in which stick figure drawings show dancer positions on 8½" x 11" pages.  It was the dancer’s task to move from one drawn position to the next.  We were provided with Remy’s score, at least I believe it was the score, and it would seem that at times the dancer must fly.  So, I conclude that these stick figures were intended to be “jumping off points” and that the real motion resided in the performer.  The charm of the piece is found in a reading from one of Remy’s books by an eight-year-old boy.  Over and above the charm was again the skill and clarity of Shelley’s performance.

I enjoyed the whole evening.  I saw nothing that was not well performed; I saw lots that pleased, and much that was memorable.

— Ruth Grauert, May 2003