Seeing Vicky Shick and Dancers in Another Spell at Danspace Project (April 14 -16) was like watching a compilation of animated conversations between girlfriends cleverly shaped into dance. Jodi Bender, Donna Costello, Lily Gold, Marilyn Maywald Yahel, Heather Olson, Omagbitse Omagbemi and Shick are whoever we want them to be and so are their stories. The introduction to our make-believe ride begins when in the dark—all we hear is the sound of feet as they people the space. When the lights come up, a door is opened (sort of literally), when Barbara Kilpatrick’s moveable screen on wheels slides to one side revealing a dancer. We’re voyeurs. We’re let into their living room; their conversation space, and though we don’t know what they are “saying,” we can surmise, well, sort of. They shift from small to larger groupings, but mostly in intimate duets. The partners gently assist each other, a head may rests in a palm, a soft kiss brushes a cheek, fists rise in an imaginary boxing match, and party girls switch their hips, laugh, harmonize, gesture and lock eyes posing for selfie. Or so this story goes. In one instance, Kilpatrick’s screen divides the vacuous walls of St. Mark’s Church and there were two events happening at once. In another, one by one, a dancer climbed on the screen while another pushed it and the dancer around the space making lines and circles. In one last duet they sat on the floor and hugged…was this the end? Shick did introduce the evening as occupied with characters, fictitious to persons living or dead. She also warned that if there was any resemblance, it was purely coincidental.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."