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Pushing Progress - ll:ll

by Marian Horosko
May 10, 2009
Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
248 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 787 1178
The only hit on the program of The Choreography Showcase presented by Pushing Progress, presented May 10, at the Manhattanmovement&artscenter at 248 W 60TH Street, was the work by Salim Gauwloos in his "ll:ll." This mesmerizing choreographer, who studied at the Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp, came to New York and promptly accumulated Broadway credits. He has been a master teacher in Amsterdam, Zurich and Vienna. His commissions included a work for Joseph Gorak, of ABT II and at the Youth America Grand Prix.

Gauwloos - on this dismal program, a complete miss - grabbed attention with the first entrance walk of 4 young dancers….a Graham walk, slow, deliberate, concentrated and commanding. The dancers in long black dresses sat on chairs, focused to the front, and proceeded to express their inner life by changing the patterns of exiting, entering and changing seats. How simple it seemed, yet Gauwloos has a stylized knack for seeming to say little, yet creating an inner world for his performers. Understated gestures show intensity, taste and concentration enough to make one wonder what he must have said directing this work to get inexperienced, young dancers to arrive at poise, commitment to the work and its message.

Continuing on the program of college-age dancers "acting out" angst in confrontation, anger and slap-dash, in-your-face movements, there was no direction or purpose.

In one work, the dancers took off their outer wear to dance in their underwear. As Ted Shawn, the father of vaudeville shows early in the century once said, "When a choreographer has nothing to say, he tells them to take off their costumes."
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