Friday, October 28, 2011

Pick of the Day: Gallim Dance: Blush at Vanderbilt's Langford Auditorium

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 5:09 AM

Gallim Dance: Blush
Where: Vanderbilt's Langford Auditorium
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28

Gallim Dance Company's Blush seems to be an attempt to choreograph the opposition between sexual reservation and release. Andrea Miller started the NYC-based modern dance company in 2006, and it's easy to see why this performance is one of its most popular. In it, the dancers don't just plié, but instead move slowly toward the audience in a hungry squat, pulsing forward like wild-eyed tigers on the hunt, while everything from Chopin to Fuck Buttons booms in the background. Instances of ferocious intensity and discordant, seemingly out-of-control abandon are met with sudden stops, as the dancers pantomime straightening their hair, smoothing it against their heads like ostentatious Victorians.

At the beginning of the piece, all six dancers wear white paint on their hair and body, like the kaolin clay some African tribes use in rites of passage, or perhaps faded Japanese Kabuki theater makeup. Through the intense 50-minute performance, the paint eventually sweats and rubs off, the skin exposed beneath appearing flushed and rosy — a literal blush. Sexy, reckless and edgy as hell, this is a performance that should be as exciting as high art can get.

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