An Evening of Four Choreographers

Jeanette Stoner, Beverly Blossom, Amos Pinhasi, and Satoshi Haga
83 Leonard Street, New York, NY
November 13–16, 2003

A Review

Of course, I ventured to Leonard Street (on a Saturday night when it took me 45 minutes to get from the exit of the Holland Tunnel to Broadway) to see Beverly Blossom and Jeanette Stoner perform.  Both of these dancers are clear in motion, although Beverly’s work is rooted in stark reality and Jeanette in the realm of the mind.

On the program was Jeanette’s “rope” piece revised for a solo dancer and retitled Beginning II.  Chase Booth, the dancer, is clear and strong.  Aric Schneller, the chanter, is remarkable.  Here Jeanette makes great use of the limitations of studio walls in a statement about origin and birth.  And Aric’s vocal production leads the mind wonderfully into the realm of “whence.”

Jeanette premiered a dance called Granite.  In it a hooded figure (Peter Davis) mulls over a bowl of hand-sized rocks, which he sets on a draped table while Jeanette, the human figure, rises from and retreats to a cloth spread on the floor in front of the table.  And while watching Jeanette move (clean and complete) is always a treat, I puzzled over the relationship of the two figures, the symbolism of the stones, the sometimes the visible light coming from beneath the table to illuminate the “wizzard.”  The title of Jeanette’s first offering makes the symbolism of the rope clear.  But Granite, obviously the “stuff” of earth, doesn’t help me here.  But... I know Jeanette will work on it.

Beverly presented a completed version of the Cello Lessons, of which she showed an in-progress version at the Nikolais Forum at Hunter last month.  Bev’s clear carving of space and her tight dialogue is as strong as we all remember.  Equally clear in Cello is her control of dynamics.  And I, for one, thank her for continuing to feed us one slice of Art after the other.

The program included two works by Amos Pinhasi, who has an abundance of ideas, but as yet seems not to have the performing “wit” to really make comedy of “funny.”

Of the two pieces by Satoshi Haga, Morning Due Duo seemed to have no point of view but “make silly,” which is tiresome.  To top the confusion off, two rectangles of light on the floor made no sense.  However, his second work, Untitled (work in progress), was truly a witty, original interpretation of the music of Bizet, which I thoroughly enjoyed.  And made me want to see more of his work.

Thank you, Jeanette and the JKW Foundation (whoever you are), for making this week of dance possible.  We do need such venues for the continuing health of the art.

— Ruth Grauert