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The Neta Dance Company presents Air & Fold (world premieres)

by Sarah Hart
February 20, 2009
Danspace Project
131 East 10th Street (at Second Avenue)
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-8112
February 26-28, 2009 at 8:30pm at Danspace Project, St. Marks Church as part of the DANCE: Access series.

The Neta Dance Company: www.netacompany.org
Fold, a new work by Neta Pulvermacher, artistic director of The Neta Dance Company is, appropriately enough, complex and intricate. A very many disparate parts fold together in tight interrelationship to create the unified whole. There is a live band—an original score played by the Israeli composer Alon Nechushtan and band on keyboard, drum, accordion and guitar—but also live singing, story telling, and instructions dictated from off stage. The floor, an intimate space at St Marks Church in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is littered with rolls, sheets, and crumpled masses of white paper, heaps of clothing, pieces of origami, and the six dancers who move mostly independent of one another, as if lost in their own thoughts.

The concepts of folding and unfolding certainly offer rich material to work with. To fold is to transform—to become a new state. We speak of experiences unfolding, and folds of memory. To fold is also to cave in to a greater force. Each of these themes is evident in Fold. There is a recurring thread of a memory of making paper boats at the water that lends the piece a feeling of wafting nostalgia and childhood play. Dancers both marvel at and crush the origami with a sort of innocent abandon. At times they thrash about in the piles of paper as a child might in a pile of leaves.

For a piece of elaborate origami to work, however, every crease and every fold must be just exactly so. And despite the many whimsical elements in Fold, and some lovely, quiet moments as when all six dancers, foreheads to the ground, inch forward and unroll long reams of paper into six parallel lines, there is still something a little heavy-handed about the piece. A bit more delicacy, a bit of a lighter-touch, and those layered themes of collapse and creation would unfold a bit more gracefully.

After Fold, twelve dancers perform Pulvermacher's very well-received work Air, which was inspired by Handel's soaring choral work, Dixit Dominus. Air cannot to be improved on. The music transports to heaven and the dancers, swirling together in their hot pink dresses, look like vivid petals moved by wind.
Nitzan Lederman in 'Air and Fold'

Nitzan Lederman in "Air and Fold"

Photo © & courtesy of Nir Gutvirtz


Karen Harvey, Colette Krogol, Nitzan Lederman, Meghan Merrill, Rebecca Warner and Matt Reeves in 'Air and Fold'

Karen Harvey, Colette Krogol, Nitzan Lederman, Meghan Merrill, Rebecca Warner and Matt Reeves in "Air and Fold"

Photo © & courtesy of Nir Gutvirtz

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