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Robert Abrams
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Propel-her Dance Collective - Letters to the Editor

by Robert Abrams
November 3, 2006
Merce Cunningham Dance Company & Studios
55 Bethune Street
New York, NY 10014
The Propel-her Dance Collective showed itself to be an appealing, young modern dance company with its performance of Letters to the Editor. Starting from a traditional modern dance base, they presented a series of dances inflected in different directions, such as modern dance with a Spanish feel in Feo, Fuerte, Formal, modern dance with a Swing feel in Crash Course, and modern dance with a Country feel in leftover right. The dancers' movements had fluidity at any speed, especially in Ruling Worlds. The choreography accented the music. Feo, Fuerte, Formal included some nice kicks and cape work. In leftover right, the women played off each other well, each moving under her own power but connected. They were clearly having fun. While most of the dances presented were abstract works, the women of the Propel-her Collective were not afraid to speak their minds. In Motherland, Maggie Bennett combined movement, verbal humor (such as by combining the pledge of allegiance with a paean to consumerism), partial nudity, afternoon tea and plenty of white powder tossed with abandon to rail against George Bush and the various messes he has facilitated. You may or may not like what she has to say, but you have to appreciate the forceful way she says it. My main criticism here is technical. I am all for including billowing powder in dance numbers (what ever happened to The Notario Dance Company?), but it does tend to leave a mess on the stage. As a result, it took the crew quite a while to clean up the stage in preparation for the next dance. Next time, I suggest they try using "green dust". This is a product that interior construction crews use to clean up messes. You sprinkle it on the floor and when you sweep it up, it traps the dirt to make cleaning easier. If only fixing the country was that easy.

Collective Members: Amy Tennant Adams, Maggie Bennett, Ani Javian, Cara Angela Ligouri, Betsy Miller.
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