Review: A Choreographer Who Excavates Misalignment
Set to a trippy guitar score by Ava Mendoza, “Revolver” showcases persistent stuttering and restless movements throughout the program. Westwater arrives first, wearing royal blue pants and a matching shirt with extra dangling sleeves. (Claire Fleury designed the costume, a collage of sheer and opaque fabrics.) Establishing the theme of turning from the vertical, Westwater leans back enchantedly, her feet firmly planted. The torso sways above the
When Grice joins her, the two, even though physically separated, move agitatedly weighted steps, their feet seemingly drawn to the floor like magnets. They sometimes seem to be trying to get out of their bodies as the score veers between rhythmic, melodic passages and distorted dissonances. Madeline Best’s beautiful lighting transitions from a neutral glow to a sky blue background, suggesting a world beyond this closed world.
In keeping with its title, “Choreomaniacs”, which seems to pick up where “Revolver” left off, delves into wilder depths. Seaborn, Stacey Lynn Smith, Natty Trogdon). After the arduous opening work, a welcome surprise comes with more free moments, such as kicking your feet and dizzying rolls on the floor. The immersive music by Mendoza and Mike Baggetta feels like an extension of the previous one with the added environmental noise. (When a siren sounds, it could be coming from a speaker or from the street.)
In Westwater’s pursuit of misalignment, its opposite flush – rough alignment – in contrast proves satisfying in its departure from form identity. But variations are probably more perceptible to the performer than to the audience. But sometimes something like unison emerges from the amorphousness. Repeating phrases with knees up and feet down, or two people finding silence at the same time. A different kind of harmony appears at the end, with all the dancers except Westwater caught in a soft, heavy embrace. They will continue to waver and flinch, but they will definitely support each other.
“Revolver” and “Choreomaniacs”
Through April 29th at the Chocolate Factory Theater in Queens. chocolatefactorytheater.org