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In Performance; Dance
Jack Anderson, The New York Times
July 13, 1996

In a Chair or Banging a Drum, All Outside in the Evening Dances for Wave Hill Wave Hill

Wave Hill was a wonderful place to be at 6:30 P.M. on Wednesday. The air was clear, the lawns looked lush, and Dancing in the Streets opened its annual Dances for Wave Hill series of performances in this elegant public garden.

The participating choreographers chose different sections of the grounds as sites. Molissa Fenley presented "Chair" on a terrace above the Hudson River, which glittered in the sunlight. Ms. Fenley remained seated in an ordinary chair throughout this solo, calmly bending and stretching to electronic music by Maggi Payne.

Ms. Fenley's unhurried motions and confident manner turned her into the garden's benevolent monarch. Her authority even seemed magical, for she made one concentrate so deeply on her gestures that one virtually forgot the chair that held her.

A grassy expanse behind a tranquil pool served as the setting for "Misa Criolla," which two Argentine choreographers, Blanca Alonso and Silvio Facchio, staged for the Gestures Dance Ensemble from the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts in East Harlem. After Ubaldo Arregui crossed this space solemnly beating a drum, groups of dancers surged forward in joyous rituals to recorded music by Ariel Ramirez and Felix Luna.

In Nicholas Leichter's "Tightrope," four members of his company moved across a lawn in strictly patterned sequences. Many steps and poses were almost melodramatically tense, and the accompaniment was a rumbling recorded score by Christian Cherry. The innocent landscape strengthened the sense of menace.

The performance at Wave Hill (Armor Hall, 675 West 252 Street, Riverdale, the Bronx) is to be repeated tomorrow at 5 P.M. Other programs are to be on Wednesday and July 21, 24 and 28. JACK ANDERSON

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