nytheatre.com review by Sarah Wolfman Robichaud
August 15, 2004
In a small black box theatre in the heart of Greenwich Village, a story is being told by two dancing clowns. It's about staring at the sun, broken umbrellas, bananas in the trash, and falling—in love, apart, flat on your face, etc. The set is a wooden plank resting on an old bucket and a cinder block; a trash can sits in the corner. The dance, set to popular music by bands such as Nick Drake and Belle and Sebastian, brings sweet tears to any audience member. This is first function’s performance of The Fall. Welcome to their heartbroken and beautiful world.
Mathew Sandoval (Aidan) and Courtney King (Dawn) dance around each other, work out their self-conscious frustrations, and play like puppies in this flowing and fabulous piece choreographed by deeAnn Nelson and Sandoval. With the exception of a few weak moments of dialogue, Courtney and Mathew hold the audience in thrall as they display not only their innocence lost, but the discovery of pure love for someone else. Not an easy feat.
This is a piece comprised of familiar dichotomies set to dance: we need each other, yet do not know how to be together; we can’t stop from staring at the sun, though it “makes our eyes water”; we often subconsciously drive those we love away, and then moments before their departure, we beg them to stay. The Godot-like feel of waiting for something, yet not knowing what is to come makes The Fall an affecting and memorable piece—perhaps because we’ve all tried at one point, out of pure curiosity, to “fall flat on our faces”—but have never had the gumption to pull it off. The Fall encourages us to get up and try again.