Saturday, November 16, 2013

Irrepressibly energetic (Dance - Hofesh Shechter's Sun)

Hofesh Shechter's irrepressible dance piece Sun is joyous and aggressive by turns, filled with images of war, street violence, and colonialism.  Cutout images of tribesman, sheep, and businessmen clash with his live performers who are clad in Middle Eastern garb, as commedia dell'arte clowns, and characters out of Chekhov - playfully undermining his artifice.  Wagner and Irving Berlin, tribal drums, and bagpipes are sampled in his eclectic and sometimes assaultively loud score.  A quick-cut, episodic rhythm is frantically energetic, jolting the viewer from one scene to the next.  The movement vocabulary evokes Middle Eastern and modern dance but his choreography is filled with the individual personalities of his dancers, who are a joy to experience.

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