Sally Silvers: Puppy Skills, PS 122.

25th Anniversary string of pieces including a remixed series of solos choreographed for group dancers. The first piece had a playful vibe, with three of the more seasoned dancers engaged in humorous activities with wearable sculpture and window door/shadow prop. Family dynamics? Sisters? Friends? Maturity? This was followed by the most grueling piece (in a good way) involving the youngest dancers - complex athletic group movement like a Benetton commercial that has been transformed into a extended gender role nightmare from which you cannot escape. A nightmare of youth?

The dancers were all-female, and the complex element in Silver's work of repurposing gender stereotype material was interestingly splayed across the evening in different ways. Every piece had different manifestations of this mixing with her other major dynamic: a drama of characters interacting, stepping in and out of the stage of power, with the relationships changing, and power dynamics between individuals and groups of players constantly shifting positions. The virtuosity of the choreography and dancers somehow ups the ante on the feeling of conflicts in these social themes, which is opposite of what I would normally expect.

Excellent sound collage by Bruce Andrews with Michael Schumacher -- clear, decisive texture switching maintaining intensity without distracting attention away from the dance. I was struck by the similarity in thematics between Silvers' dance and Bruce Andrews' poetry, that they both deal unreservedly with negative social emotions/perception/dynamics and that in both cases these things are transformed into energized dramas.

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