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Emery Brenner
Performance Reviews
Dance Theatre Workshop
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

The Brian Brooks Moving Company - again again

by Emery Brenner
October 6, 2006
Dance Theatre Workshop
219 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
The Brian Brooks Moving Company was founded in 1997 and since then Brian has been making a name for himself in the dance community. Brian and his four other dancers have an unbelievable amount of physical stamina which can be seen in again again. His choreography is dedicated to reiteration and quick rhythmic games.
Brian is known for being able to deepen the most repeated physical investigations in choreography.

In the evening's performance the stage was adorned with a white inflatable plastic tarp that resembled a cloud. In the piece four more of these tarps, installed by artist Anakin Koenig, were inflated and unfolded like tongues onto the stage. There were no black wings on stage so interestingly enough it seemed as if these tarps were used in replace of them. It was a dynamic contrast to have these white lighted tarps against the black floors and walls of the stage. The dancers wore flesh-colored, glitter and netted fabric shorts and sleeveless tops by Roxana Ramseur, which added to the starkness of the atmosphere. I got the impression that these dancers were on a journey through different terrains, resembling the atmosphere in a jungle and on the moon. Tom Lopez's atmospheric sound score separated the choreography sections into live landscapes.

The opening movement study was between Nicholas Duran and Alexander Gish examining the body's extremities and its weight. Duran faces Gish and curiously manipulates him, trying over and over in different ways, to get one of his arms to reach high and his limp body to remain upright. There was beautiful intimacy seen when Gish would catch Duran's weight and cradle his head in his hands. The first movement study that involved the whole group was very creature oriented. There was this fascinating repeated activity in which a dancer pulled another from a low lunge into a crouch, slides onto, over, and off his or her back.

The evolution of the piece was beautifully unfolded by the repetition of steps. Brooks' use of repetition gives time to see the scenery change around the dancers. This sense of evolution and of ‘frozen time' was also seen in a common dance lift. Between three dancers one would be thrown with partnered support by the other two dancers creating airtime. They would then all descend into a jog as they hit the ground. I enjoyed how Brooks changed up the grouping of the four dancers from homo to heterosexual couples and the whole group. For instance sometimes the women, Jo-anne Lee and Weena Pauly danced together, or later the men joined and the audience watched two heterosexual couples side by side in uniformity.

Towards the end of the piece there was a quick rhythmic game against the wall.
Everyone got a chance to be hoisted against the wall onto their feet or the side of their body, before they would fall down to the ground. They did this rebounding action all the way from stage left to stage right on the upstage wall. That episode called for the last of their available physical exertion and concentration. The ending feat between two dancers was one that was most impressive. Mrs. Pauly walked upon Brook's body parts starting with his hands, then his back and feet. She held her arms out like she was walking on a type rope till finally she sat on Brook like he was a chair, to out of exhaustion before she noticed the blown up tarps around her. This piece had this great ending that when Pauly turned her face to notice the tarps beside her there was an immediate blackout controlled by lighting designer Burke Wilmore. It was as if the cast had gone through ultimate physical exhaustion, to get to this place somewhere only to realize that they had only begun to discover the world around them. I could easily see a sequel, again again part two.
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