Review: DanceSpace 2004

Photo by Addison Hoffman

“The Sokolow Theater / Dance Ensemble performed with gravitas and nuance at St. Mark’s Church last Sunday November 14th. The show consisted of two distinct sections: the heart-wrenching, jaw-droppingly brilliant Rooms, and a potpourri of repertory miscellany.

Rooms (1955) depicts the isolation and desperation of urban existence, and I believe, is the first composition in modern dance history to extensively utilize chairs. (Now if only choreographers would stop!) Lauren Naslund and Eleanor Bunker danced with rare specificity and emotional transparency. The Sokolow repertory lends itself to melodramatic performance, but these two performers were magnificent in their spare and open interpretations.

Luis Gabriel Zaragoza, the Mexico-born, Cunningham-trained wunderkind, gave a taut and volatile performance. In his aptly named solo, ‘Panic,’ Zaragoza explosively extended his hands towards four seated performers, tucking his head into his caved-in chest while taking impossibly large steps. His execution allowed a clear correlation between a complex movement idea (reaching) and an emotional one (‘panic.’) Zaragoza exemplifies in dance what Sokolow exemplified in choreography- the rendering of an emotional reality into a moved one- with nothing lost in translation.”

Sydney Skybetter
NY Mosaico