Donna Uchizono Company journeyed back to 1990 (short Tahitian temper) and 1999 (State of Heads) before presenting the premiere Fire Underground (December 4 – 7) at New York Live Arts. Lights go out and immediately, this evening of retrospective begins with a bang up dance (short Tahitian temper), and a bang up cast! On Thursday (12/5) Natalie Green and Jodi Melnick joined Uchizono, and these equally hot women, with hips shaking and fists pumping were on fire in this short female dance of power. Quickly shift to State of Heads an austerely minimal work colored with stillness and mannequin-like movement that took time; nothing but time, in a starkly white space (walls, floor and costumes) conveying Uchizono’s command of the genre. State of Heads was nicely performed by Rebecca Serrell-Cyr, Levi Gonzalez, Hristoula Harakas. Serrel-Cyr returns with Uchizono in Fire Underground an intimate and thought-provoking look at Uchizono’s process in adopting a child from Nepal. After intermission, the space is changed and some audience members were moved to the stage—the closer the better it seemed. Serrel-Cyr begins with a chain/belt weighted at the end with a bundle that wraps and unwraps around her waist as she spins and build speed, getting dangerously close to the audience. Uchizono joins later; her dress balled up in front, then pulls out two smaller versions of Serrel-Cyr’s prop and daringly cross and swipe them in and around her body. Though it took a while in getting there, a beautifully intimate section comes later when back-to-back and then facing each other, they match each other’s movement step after step—in a minimized two-step prompted by their instinctual breath and rhythm.
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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."