Face the Music & Dance

By Giordano, Kevin | Dance Magazine, August 2000 | Go to article overview

Face the Music & Dance


Giordano, Kevin, Dance Magazine


FACE THE MUSIC & DANCE SHAPIRO & SMITH DANCE WITH SCOTT KILLIAN MARK DENDY DANCE & THEATER WITH DON BYRON SYMPHONY SPACE NEW YORK, NEW YORK APRIL 27-APRIL 29, 2000

REVIEWED BY KEVIN GIORDANO

Shapiro & Smith Dance is a troupe whose style is rooted in comedy, slapstick and theater. Mark Dendy Dance is a modern dance company that sometimes draws upon theater to enhance its themes. These two companies are essentially different, but this April at Symphony Space they shared an evening titled "Face the Music & Dance," a program that presents premieres of collaborations between choreographers and composers.

(Danial) Shapiro & (Joanie) Smith offered The Routine, a collaborative dance-theater piece with music by Scott Killian and text readings by writer/actor David Greenspan. Killian and his band of vibes, percussion, sax, flute, bass, keyboards and vocalist occupied stage left. A whimsical, dreamy mood was set early when Carol Lipkin crooned over a Latin groove, which was followed by Greenspan's spitfire, fuguelike pontifications on the word "schtick," which was the name of the team's 1999 show. Seated on a stool next to the band, Greenspan repeated this chattering throughout the performance. His poetic and repetitive effusions were equaled by Danial Shapiro. Shapiro purports to be a physical comic, but this evening his comedy fizzled. His performance was doubly unfortunate since he seemed to be playing the protagonist of this convoluted story.

The Routine moved along haphazardly as a series of pleasing vignettes, ranging from a woman seated at a table eating fried chicken to a poker game, all intercut with smart but loose choreography. It was in the actual dance that The Routine excelled. Choreography for the group pieces was carefully wrought, and sometimes just as carefully executed, but the general atmosphere of insouciance made most of the performers appear lazy. …

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