The second weekend of Lindsey Matheis’ (a)merging compilation show
is a lot prettier than the first
. While the first weekend leaned more experimental—with such ornaments as rave rings and frying eggs—the second is largely straightforward, pleasant dance. The lineup of choreographers includes Princess Grace Award-winner Katie Sherman and Portland Festival Ballet dancer Emily Shultz, both of whom present pieces that satisfy like a wine you’ve been told is very expensive. The show has a few outliers though, namely Catherine Egan, whose trio for three women is heavier with ideas than with interesting movement, and Alexander Dones, whose Francophilic one-man show is appropriately droll.
In the show’s highlight, Kara Girod Shuster fluidly shifts between the movements of a gymnast and an ice dancer, combining the most glamorous parts of both Olympics. In excerpts of the piece Fall, Catch, Lean by Jennifer Camp, Shuster turns so quickly she appears to be spinning on ice. Then, she stops, poise written on her face, as she competently walks an invisible balance beam, arms swinging tautly at her sides.
Equally memorable, but for different reasons, is the show’s opener. Selina DiPronio’s and Caitlin Warren’s In Utero, which they created and perform, is cuter than Milo and Otis. The two sit side-by-side like siblings crammed in a car's backseat. DiPronio tousles Warren's hair to her obvious irritation. Warren shoves her away. The picking always has a touch of closeted friendliness, though, maybe even flirtiness. They roll over each other as graceful as two people can and have little bursts of patty-cake. The piece ends with DiPronio resting her head on Warren's shoulder.
To close, a few scattered notes on the rest of the program:
- Emily Schultz, Fallor, ergo sum: two women on a Spanish plaza; dark eyes, black gowns, high slits; romantic and striking; too short.
- Catherine Egan, Split Sequence: side braids and yoga faces; tapping Morse code in palms; disappointing false endings.
- Katie Sherman, We, Then I …: capstone dance piece for nine women; character acting with a hint of ballet; too big for the small stage.
- Alexander Dones (aka radical child), j’ai la tête dans le cul: Where’s Waldo outfit; French spoken word; breakdancing and lip syncing.
- Janique L. Robillard and Sydney Skov, dance film preview Move for Freedom: advocacy for human trafficking victims, dancing in Portland streets, public service announcement.
is at Northwest Dance Project Studio & Performance Center, 833 N Shaver St. 7:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 25-26. $15-$20. Tickets here