80% of Love
nytheatre.com review by Unknown
August 2, 2007
Rindfleisch, a Brooklyn-based modern dance ensemble, brings an hour-long dance piece to Soho Think Tank's Ice Factory '07 festival. 80% of Love, a vibrant performance about love and longing, incorporates a cadre of lithe dancers, a rock trio, snippets of text, and vocal stylings from three opera singers. It is based on Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami.
In an era when novelizations of CGI-laden blockbusters based on cheesy cartoons pass for acceptable subway reading, it is a relief to experience the evening of pure artistic protein that is 80% of Love. This brainchild of choreographer Elke Rindfleisch, musician Chris Woltmann, and playwright Joseph Gallo offers a visceral meditation on the many passions, convolutions, and sicknesses of love. The harmonious and discordant physical riffs of dancers Evan Copeland, Jean Freebury, Sarah Weber Gallo, James Graber, Elke Rindfleisch, and Michelle Vargo express an emotional vocabulary, frequently mirroring and counterpointing motifs, which leaves you equally drained and exhilarated.
When combined with the exceptional musicianship of The Czar Bomba, a trio that fuses prog rock, jazz, and surf guitar, and the eerie tonal incantations of Collective Opera Company, this dance soap opera/symbolist dream play boasts a virtuosity seldom seen. This composition is consistently performed with controlled abandon and will astonish you at every turn.
Special kudos to Rindfleisch's set and costume design and to Severn Clay's lighting. Internal and external environments are conjured subtly and effectively. See this piece before it goes away. The music is good enough to be on a regular rotation on your iPod. The dancing is a clarification of the unspeakable mess that love creates.
Finally, a toast to Rindfleisch's artistic resilience. Anyone who can survive Graham-derivative teachers calling her a fat cow (and she is anything but), create a company with enormous passion, and put a cow logo on the company's shirts, deserves respect.