nytheatre.com review by Sharon Fogarty
Watching Aspic, Monkeyhouse’s
program of dance theatre, in the cool basement theatre of 45Below is
like discovering forgotten wallflowers left to climb the walls. When
Karen Krolak, Nicole Harris and Amelia O’Dowd are not poking fun at
etiquette or girlie wonder, they convey the strength and sadness of real
women stuck in a society of shallow babes.
August 15, 2002
In What’s Next, choreographer Karen Krolak and Nicole Harris struggle to dance with one pair of stilts between them. Although the dance is shticky, it’s hard not to love their demonically sexy smiles and comedic timing.
Clinquant features Amelia O’Dowd in a skirt made of men’s dress shirts. To her own text, a beautiful account of fresh found love turned into familiar sorrow, O’Dowd tumbles and spins as if caught up in a man’s laundry pile, never quite finding her feet.
Karen Krolak shines in her two solos Invisible to the Eyes and Mourning After. Invisible features a vulnerable character who points to herself, or to some inner fairy, behind an exterior primness and protocol. Like the character, the choreography is left in its inspired, embryonic state. In Mourning After much is expressed through Krolak’s naked back. Learned defensiveness is evident, then enforced when she turns to reveal her chest, a halter made of nails. Armed with a single high heel, her broken figure struts pathetically, determined not to be hurt again.
Nicole Harris’ solo Lachrymatory is as sad as its title suggests. Harris swerves, distrusts balance, falls, then lands in the safety of a lonely phrase. Her character infrequently focuses out towards the audience, and the more withdrawn she is, the more magnetic she becomes. Finally, Ramfeezled by Krolak and O’Dowd shows off O’Dowd’s clowning ability as she practices her flirting technique. Her smile distorts to a blessed leer over the text "Good flirts never attack!"