Women in Motion: Soaking Wet
West End Theater
September 23, 2016
Of the three works presented as Part B of Soaking Wet’s Women in Motion series, the second offering, “Felt Shirt,” choreographed by Brynne Billingsley together with dancers Jenny Campbell, Amy Larson, and Kristen Rizzuto, was the winner.
In almost slow-motion movements the dancers’ balances lent the piece an expectant air. Their bodies are like springs—coiled, releasing, re-coiling—as they explore their own shapes and the space around them, moving to music by Tim Hecker, a series of long, sustained tones.
“A Prayer for Disbelievers” with choreography by Kristin Swiat, has no music; instead, Rehan Ansari, a playwright who wrote the words, speaks them as a woman, Ms. Swiat, moves. At times the couple contort together but more often Ms. Swiat is alone amongst the discarded papers her partner has cast onto the floor. Perhaps this is work he is disposing of? The words speak of being “in synch” which, now and again, the couple is, at least physically, though I had the sense that their desires were very separate.
The opening piece, “i saw his body and forgot my own,” is as much mime as dance as three women, Marie Davis, Jillian Egan and Britni Lariviere, groom and primp, striking poses reminiscent of pinup girls. They pose to music as varied as Patsy Cline’s wonderful “Crazy” and “I Enjoy Being a Girl,” an ironic choice as the getting ready is ritualistic and imposed by outside forces. When the dancers loosen up and let go it’s more fun. Kudos to Evan Prizant for the costumes, variations casual dress in black and white with punches of bright colors.
Soaking WET is a series of choreographic events with artists united by their commitment to movement and their understanding that vigorous experimentation can take many forms. Soaking WET has received support from The Jerome Robbins Foundation and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs
Women in Motion has been around for sixteen years, supporting and celebrating the work of women choreographers. It’s a worthy undertaking that provides showcases for finished work as well as testing grounds where dancers and those who make them have the opportunity to develop and grow.