Magazine article Dance Magazine

Feld Ballets/NY

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Feld Ballets/NY

Article excerpt

Joyce Theater March 7-April 9, 1995 Reviewed by Caroline Kahn

Each year the indefatigable Eliot Feld produces a batch of premieres, all of them new but not all of them fresh. The five new works presented this season confirmed that repetition compulsion continues to plague Feld, keeping his company at an artistic standstill.

Chi, which the program tells us signifies the body's "life force," was the first of several familiar enterprises. Feld has brought the lush dancing of his muse, Buffy Miller, and the music of Steve Reich together again in a meandering solo that fails to live up to its title. Surely the "life force," whatever it may be, is more than the bundle of vague New Age energy that Feld conjures up. Inspired by Indian dance, the choreography is set almost exclusively for the arms and wrists, which Miller circles inward, all the while flirtatiously cocking her fetching head and stretching her creamy, alabaster neck. Curiously, the piece also involves minor gymnastics on a pair of barres. Miller suspends herself, twitches, and writhes, all with a smile, but to what end?

In Gnossiennes, set to the music of Satie, Feld again explores the unexplainable. The title is translated in the program as "those possessing spiritual or mystical knowledge." Miller, maternal and reassuring, appears here accompanied by a kittenish Ha-Chi Yu, a company apprentice. Whether it's the inchoate spirituality of crystals or Scientology that Feld has in mind, the piece succeeds. Undulating purposelessly, with too much time and space on their hands, Miller and Yu appear more like drifting sea anemones than sages. Eventually four glittering nymphs join in, completing what amounts to a static, albeit beautiful, scene.

The four nymphs reappear in Ogive, dancing again to Satie. The dance takes its cue from architecture, an ogive being a rib across a Gothic vault. …

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