Music and dance in Review
Jennifer Dunning, New York Times
November 21, 2003, Friday
Molissa Fenley and her quietly eloquent dancers created landscapes of fragile, mysterious beauty in two pieces performed on Saturday night. While Evan Ayotte's shimmering tops and pants and David Moodey's subtly intense lighting helped to create those landscapes, Ms. Fenley's gift for shifting formal patterns and the transparency of her performers, all women, were even more important.
She and her five dancers might have been a tribe of solemn young virgin warriors in "Water Courses" set to music and evocative text by the poet Joy Harjo that suggested with welcome delicacy a world of female need, regret and anger. The piece is built around a continual but unobtrusive drawing in and pulling away from a magnetic center in richly layered patterning, with the dancers moving as if impelled by sudden breathlike bursts of energy.
Ms. Fenley's new "Kuro Shio" set to a vivid score by Bun-Ching Lam, was even richer. Here the performers might have been alert atoms moving through space in orderly but unpredictgable progressions. At time the women were totems. At other times they paired and moved as one. Each was a secret, at play in an inscrutable world filled with tension and an odd serenity.
Ms. Fenley's impressive dancers were Ashley Brunning, Tessa Chandler, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Cassie Mey and Paz Tanjuaquio. The program also included "Tala" a 1998 solo for Ms. Fenley.