nytheatre.com review by Josh Sherman
October 4, 2007
Over the past three weeks, I've had the opportunity to witness seven distinct contributions to the NYMF—and the best time I've had out of any of them was at Platforms. Commissioned by the festival's organizers, five choreographers (Linda Goodrich, Jeff Shade, Ron DeJesus, Matt Williams and Nick Kenkel) collaborated with twelve dancers to create a riveting dance pastiche that reflects the creative chaos of living in New York City.
A true dancers' valentine to an evening-in-the-life in the Big Apple, the director (Holly-Anne Ruggiero) and writer (Delany Britt Brewer) chose the initial setting of a ubiquitous subway platform as the great social equalizer where all types of New Yorkers are forced to engage one another. An excellent choice was made to set the scenes as viewed by a couple from out of town, Nancy and Doug, played by Deborah Yates (the Girl in the Yellow Dress from Contact) and Matt Anctil. We watch several vignettes play out on subway platforms, in a public park, and in and out of a nightclub, and watch the couple absorb interactions that sometimes involves them, and sometimes just enthrall them.
The dancing from the ensemble is a joy to watch—not a movement seems wasted and the entire experience feels organic and fresh. While most of the individuals get a few moments to shine, it truly is a team effort, out to wow the audience with their physical gifts. One standout performance must be mentioned: Laurie Kanyok plays Heidi, a business woman by day, and a cage dancer at a Times Square nightclub after-hours. Kanyok takes over the stage and performs strip-aerobic acrobatics on the subway poles (part of the clever set by Anne Goelz) that knock the audience out. On my way out of the theatre, I overheard three different conversations about wanting to see that scene again and again—Kanyok is truly gifted.
The original music, by Brent Lord, is perhaps the most inspired soundtrack of a theatre piece I've heard in quite some time. The choreography matches perfectly with each mood shift—the underscoring in each and every scene is precisely in tune with the dancers' vocabulary of movement. Kudos to the whole team for making seamless transitions during the twelve scenes of Platforms.
Not many words are spoken during the piece, but performer Ted Levy, after a gorgeous tap solo, intones the phrase "How funny you are today, New York." Seven truer words have never been spoken about our fair city—and it's a different story every day. There's very little that doesn't feel terrific about Platforms. Let's hope the piece gets remounted, and quickly. Bravo.