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SCRAP’s ‘Tide’ at Live Arts FestivalBY: Jonathan M. Stein 10.05.2009
Myra Bazell and Madison Cario’s apocalyptic Tide was danced with such energetic angst that it lost its creators’ hopeful message of the potential for healing and a new consciousness.
Tide. Choreography by Myra Bazell and Madison Cario. SCRAP Performance Group/ Live Arts Festival. September 4-7, 2009 at ICE Box Projects Space, 1400 N. American St. (215) 413-9006 or www.livearts-fringe.org/details.cfm?id=7649.
A tide of bereft desolationJONATHAN M. STEIN
Taking a markedly different tack from Merián Soto and Willi Dorner, Myra Bazell and Madison Cario rendered the vast empty space of the ICE BOX into a darkened volume whose only color was a red neon light edging as ceiling met walls: the last receding sign of a former world (or, perhaps, a world to come).
The bare setting isolated the group of seven dancers (Bazell, Marie Brown, Lindsay Browning, Katherine Livingston, Shannon Murphy, Kelly Turner and Sara Kamara Yassky) from anything resembling the world we live in. This was a void inhabited solely by dancers whose groping and anguished arm movements, often clustered within a group that clung to each other for support, represented an apocalyptic future where predicted environmental disasters had finally arrived. The piece created a remnant of humanity searching for meaning, or for connections to the only people who cared or might listen: we the audience.
SCRAP’s earlier manifestation of this work last year had the seeds of a darker side but was overwhelmed by the outdoor setting of Isaiah Zagar’s ceramic mosaic garden on South Street.
As danced feverishly and energetically by its committed cast, Tide was presented with so much fervent angst that it lost its creators’ intended hopeful message (expressed in the program notes) of the potential for healing and a new consciousness. A goddess figure portrayed by Bazell, although stirringly graphic (with costumes by Irina Kruzhilina and others), appeared disconnected to the rest of the work, and the occasional spoken word sections were either inaudible in the vast ICE BOX space, or so disconnected as to be incomprehensible.
The darkness of the piece was interrupted by a surprising, fully lit segment, which held the potential— unrealized here— of bringing us into a new state or place. I exited on a tide of bereft desolation.♦
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