nytheatre.com review by Pamela Butler
Appearances, a fifty minute dance piece at the Culture
Project, is performed by Dance Imprints, founded by artistic
director Dagmar Spain. Spain is the choreographer and joins six
other dancers to express relationships, to self and to others,
and the working out of entanglements, conflicts and resolutions.
The ensemble is in a sense "family". They are related as humans,
if not by blood. They struggle alone and together to be who they
are, have what they want, keep what they have.
August 15, 2002
Generations are represented here, from Eleanor Laurence, who is eight or nine, to senior dancers Ronald B. Stratton and, Francine Roussel. The balance of this excellent ensemble represents ages in-between. Hayley Camp, Gregory Dolbashian, Zsuzsa Gasparics and Dagmar Spain help to express a range of adult angers, desires and joys.
Eleanor Laurence is surprisingly relaxed for such a young performer. She moves simply among the adults with a youthful, light step, imagining how it might feel to be in their shoes, but so different from the purposeful and dramatic movement of her elders. I loved the contrast.
There is dialogue—pronouncements rather than exchanges, but it feels right—and a French song done with verve by Francine Roussel in a cafe scene. Each dancer expresses his/her own individuality, sometimes defiantly, until they are finally drawn together and truly connected in the powerful ending.
Children's' blocks and a mylar tube are the only other elements on stage and both serve as versatile and powerful metaphors.
Jim Papoulis creates music that perfectly underscores the dance, from the haunting opening with its vast echoing emptiness to the lighthearted music of a Parisian cafe. Jax Brodsky 's lighting is dramatic and beautiful. Dagmar Spain has also designed costumes to enhance the individual personalities of each performer. Wallace Spain's set is perfect in that it is completely spare.
I truly enjoyed this piece and recommend it heartily. You don't often see dance of this quality for the price!