Jeanette Stoner & Dancers

April 24-27, 2003
At her studio 83 Leonard Street, fifth floor, New York City

A Review

Jeanette’s dances are delicately humorous, or thoughtfully poetic, or strangely disturbing.  No matter — the aesthetic message the dances are carefully crafted and fully danced.  Jeanette has a group of dedicated movers, many of whom have worked with her for years.  So, although the dance making may become cooperative (as Jeanette graciously acknowledges), the longevity of the relationship between choreographer and dancers makes for understanding and clarity.  Even the youngest cast member, aged 22 months, was second year veteran.

Jeanette makes good use of the deficit of performing in a studio space.  The area is familiar, therefore “safe,” and “daring-do” seems doable.  The walls are there and become a fellow performer, the supporter of leaning and crawling and climbing.  The walls are in reality a sort of “side cyclorama” and should be used and respected as such.  The low ceiling is a difficulty, possibly for the “jumpers” among the performers (although I was aware of no restriction on their parts.)  But for the lighting designer it is real challenge, eliminating any down lighting and making confined areas hard to accomplish.  Perhaps this is why we frequently had large areas of floor well lit while dancers were comparatively dim.

The costumes and properties are as well designed as the motion.  Colorful or drab, flowing or static, just as the content demands.  The sound and music, chosen and “pasted” by Jeanette herself, are supportive of idea.

All in all a satisfactory evening in Tribecca.  Except . . . I would like to see Jeanette dance.  She tells me she has been too busy writing.  Will we be treated to that?

Dancers — Amy Baker-Diaz, Peter Davis, Chase Booth, Renata Hinrichs, Zve Gotheiner, Akiko-Ko-Taiano, Leilani-Ko-Tiano (22 mos), Aric Schneller and Ying-Ying Shiau

Costumers — Carol Pelletier and Olive Thurman Wong

Lighting Designer — Zvi Gotheiner

— Ruth Grauert, April 2003