Hot bodies & Fluid lines

Choreographer Stefanie Nelson compiled a group of sexy performers to perform her latest work Proximity Spiral at the Joyce Soho this weekend.

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 “arena” 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. – to which I have no clue). “Proximity Spiral uses numbers to explore the physicality of intimacy”

Thematically throughout the entire piece there were lots of “intimate moments” 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 Montz’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 Siegel’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 Nelson’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

Click here for Youtube clip preview & ticket information!

For more information about Stefanie Nelson dance group please visit: www.sndancegroup.org

To read other reviews of Proximity Spiral go here:
NY Times by Gia Kourlas
Infinite Body blog by Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Oberon’s Grove by Philip Gardner

About the author


a global nomad who grew up in cities around the world. A dancer/choreographer/dance educator/make up artist/and part time videographer, her days are spent running around the crosstown, uptown, downtown, Brooklyn and everything in between. She spends her free time watching dance/music/theater performances in the city as well as traveling, dining, shopping (recovering shop-a-holic), spending time with the boyfriend, massages, and applying make up on brides-to-be. A perfect date in NYC involves watching a dance performance at the Joyce Theater, dinner/drinks/dessert at Basta Pasta, and a leisurely stroll through Gramercy Park. For more information about Alaine please visit http://www.alainehanda.com

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