Jeanette Stoner & Dancers

83 Leonard Street, New York, NY
May 4–7, 2006

A Review

The premiers of this evening have really left me puzzled. They leave me with a wonderful vision, the Big Spool, a trio with solid visual and motional design, performed cleanly. They leave me with the innovative idea , Light, a duet in which one dancer carries a lantern that lights the other and in which the play of figure and shadow was esthetically intriguing. These dances were so well conceived and organized that I forgot and forgave the pallid opening solo, Little Spool, which seemed to have no motional or visual premise.

I had seen Uncover II (2004) in a previous incarnation, and I find that Jeanette has now refined her staging so that the use of the two curtains are no longer clumsy and do contribute to the motional and visual statement, and that is a good thing.

What is a real puzzlement to me is the diverse manner of performance, some of it clear and content centered, some so dancer centered that it was difficult to find dance. I had not seen this dancer-centered performance in Jeantte’s work previously. I, knowing Jeanette’s tenderness, may presume that she hesitates to intrude on the presentation of the performer. However, I feel that intrusion is warranted when it improves the art. In Light, for example, while one is emersed in the marvelous physical skill of Akiko Ko-Taiano, one is suddenly pulled away from the magic by the extraneous “dancing” of the lantern holder.

As always, I am glad that I was able to see these works. Jeanette continues to dare, to try new visions, to reach for the stars and that she sometimes succeeds is wonderful.

— Ruth Grauert, May 7, 2006