Choreographer Stefanie Nelson compiled a group of sexy performers to perform her latest work Proximity Spiral at the Joyce Soho this weekend. If you have been to the Joyce Soho theater on Mercer street you will know that the proximity of the audience and the stage is pretty close and in-your-face. My seat was in the front row.
Each performer entered the performing â€œarenaâ€ one at a time and sat down in chairs on the periphery of red colored Marley floor laid on the standard black Marley flooring. When pre-performance activities happen while audience members are getting seated I get very anxious and curious. The red Marley floor gave me images of heat, hell, an oven, fire, and purgatory.
Proximity Spiral is inspired by the Fibonacci sequence, which apparently are number sequences 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34… (For all you number crunchers out there probably know some sort of theme, common denominator, etc. â€“ to which I have no clue). â€œProximity Spiral uses numbers to explore the physicality of intimacyâ€
Thematically throughout the entire piece there were lots of â€œintimate momentsâ€ that happen between the dancers that were either really disturbing, sensual, provocative, or violent in nature. Combined with flirty glances, an audience member would want to go home straight away after the performance and spend some time in bed, not sleeping.
The sound score by Sahand Rahbar and Hugh Mann was catchy and at times repetitious. This did not distract the movement by its complexities yet the sound was very loud and I felt like I was taken on a emotional rollercoaster just by the music alone. Add the athletic movement and intense relationships between the performers and I needed a glass of water to catch up with the intense reactions I was getting experiencing this performance.
The movement is punctuated with audible breath and intense pauses in very difficult positions; a deep lunge with a neck hold during Matthew Oaks and McKay Montzâ€™s duet, a back bend by Ali Schecter, back crawling on the floor by Ariana Siegel with legs spread apart, these are just some of the moments that I remember that caused an uncomfortable stir from within. This intense piece ended with Ariana Siegelâ€™s athletic solo in front and center and the rest of the dancers paired up in quiet and intimate duets. The calm that is washed over at the end of the piece leaves the audience finally relaxing into their seats.
I would definitely recommend checking out Stefanie Nelsonâ€™s latest work, Proximity Spiral. You will be entranced by the hot sweaty bodies on stage performing and trying to figure out the mathematical algorithm that Nelson is so inspired with in the first place.
Photography by Ian Shand, Dancer Ali Schecter & Jeffrey Kent Jacobs
Performances run March 18-21, 2010. (March 18-20 @ 8 pm, March 21 @ 3 pm). Joyce Soho is located at 155 Mercer Street (between Houston/Prince), New York, NY 10012
For more information about Stefanie Nelson dance group please visit: www.sndancegroup.org