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Dance Review; With Movements Stepping to Flute, Cello and Silence
Jack Anderson, The New York Times
February 11, 2000

Clear and bold movements dominated much of the choreography that Molissa Fenley presented on Wednesday night at the Kitchen. All the dances but one were created either this year or last year, all but one were solos and several were collaborations with artists and musicians.

Spurts of flute music composed by Harold Meltzer and played by Patti Monson accompanied ''Island,'' for which Carol Hepper, a sculptor, designed a wall of shapes made of fish skins that David Moodey's lighting caused to glow and subtly change in hue. The solo dance, performed by Foofwa d'Imobilite, was notable for its broad swaying movements for the upper body and darting steps for the feet.

Ms. Fenley contrasted similar sweeps of the arms with quick footwork in ''Voices,'' which she danced to cello music by Kevin Volans that juxtaposed lyric lines with nervous rapid phrases. Joan Jeanrenaud, the excellent cellist, was heard again playing music by Philip Glass in ''Provenance Unknown,'' a solo from 1989 in which Ms. Fenley appeared to be exploring the space around her.

In ''Weathering,'' Ms. Fenley moved inquisitively in silence through a set by Merrill Wagner that was filled with rags and tatters both suspended in the air and strewn across the floor.

''On the Other Ocean,'' the one group work, sent Kerry Ring, Paz Tanjuaquio, Heather Waldon and Meg Wolfe drifting across the stage to recorded music by David Behrman. Ms. Fenley's choreographic vigor was admirable throughout the evening. Yet her dances tended to look increasingly less inventive as they proceeded. In choreographing these pieces, Ms. Fenley seemed to have an abundance of bright ideas to introduce yet could not always sustain or develop them. A bit of judicious trimming might also make these works more striking.

Her performances, which include some changes of program, continue through Feb. 19 at the Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, Chelsea.

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