60x60 is the dance equivalent of a crazy family reunion where everyone is inextricably linked by one thread, dance, but everyone has interpreted what that means differently. Whether wielding eight foot dowels drowned in silk as modern shoulder pads, goggles, face paint and flippers to achieve that amphibious look certain music just calls for or throwing caution to the wind and busting out some old fashioned bowling pins for juggling because they match your favorite sequined onesie, 60x60 lets anything slide aside from full on nudity or sexual exploitations. 60 dancers/groups write the story in between these limitations against the backdrop of 60 second musical pieces by 60 different choreographers.
Housed at the World Financial Center, a venue with endless ceilings stuffed to the gills with palm trees and dancers in various states of costume milling through the audience, waiting in the pseudo wings or plopped in front of the 48 foot stage, it resembles a dance convention in Southern Florida. Flanked by Starbucks and escalators and World Financial Center workers seemingly unscathed by the infiltration of stretchy men and women in their workplace, audience members can freely enjoy the show without stuffy etiquette procedures or ushers. Two giant clocks face the audience ticking down the 60 seconds each group gets while the group on-deck-motifs create living, breathing sculptures on the stage. This allows for seamless transitions despite the rapid turnover. However, given the extreme costume choices of some groups I spend a lot of time wondering why and how certain dancers share the space. I reiterate – 60x60 is the weirdest family gathering you’ve ever been to but in a farcical way. If you will it’s a family talent show where you pull out your surprised face as Aunt Margaret touches her toes and Uncle Melvin reveals a harbored penchant for Butoh and break dancing.
Justin Hashimoto and Alicia Hill’s duet set to Pasquale Mainolfi’s piece oozes child wonderment as they scurry across the stage clutching an oversized present. Choreographed by Kathryn Luckstone and titled 1000msx60, the daring, explosive and curious nature of the piece conjures up images of Hansel and Gretel traipsing about the woods in search of the gingerbread house. Hashimoto says that they wanted to "use the juxtaposition of the tranquil music and its rrrrr sounds to create the movement." Grounded in technique and interrupted by moments that scream "reboot" their bodies flail about teetering on the edge of control causing me to lean forward and take in every movement. They chose to structure the piece around the idea of two children finding a present and their obsession with its contents. Like many of the pieces, the ending causes me to wonder what happens next.
In a more adult sphere, the full company, Amalgamate, performs Uneven Motion set to HyeKyung’s music. Choreographed by Artistic Director, Alanna Marie Urda, it features all eight company members and 3 apprentices in full cocktail attire "motifing" in postures that exude conflict with wrists cocked mid slap, feet grounded mid stomp or lips curled into readable grimaces even from 100 feet away. As their music begins the conflicts come to life, and I feel like the women from Mad Men have come to the World Financial Center to state their business with no holds barred, fully aware that the clock is ticking.
Categorized as a contemporary or modern collaborative company, Urda tells me they aim to tell authentic stories with every piece they create. For this piece company members selected relationships, real or fictional to create their physical connections ranging from piggybacking, throwing, and even the occasional spank. It takes them less than 60 seconds to throw the cavernous space into a frenzied tizzy and then with a spin of their well-healed shoes, they abandon the playing space to make room for the next group.
Also on the program, Lea Fulton’s group performs Speak to Dwight Ashley’s string heavy quartet. Wobbly careening in on a green bicycle, Sarah Sadie Newett is stopped by Heather N. Seagraves, and, with Katy Clancy and Fulton’s help, Newett stretches over the handlebars hand-standing to the ground. Clothed in vintage dresses and suspendered trousers Fulton creates a whimsical, dreamy space in which the quartet carve the space with swirling movements punctuated with controlled moments of stillness and sharpness.
"The mysteriousness of Dwight Ashley's musical composition inspired an image that was both playful and haunting as the basis for the one minute piece of choreography. It was a great exercise to work within such clear boundaries of time and music and attempt to create a piece that was transcendent," comments Fulton.
Not everyone wants to go to family reunions but at the end of the day you know it’s your duty, you are born into something to which you’ll be tied forever and not showing up is never an option. 60x60 applies the same concept: if you have in any way ever loved dance, or music or palm trees you owe it to yourself to check out 60x60 to see what a body can do to your mind in less than a minute or at least watch 60 groups try.
Have You Seen the iDANZ Social Network?
Click Here To Become a Member of iDANZ.com Today!
The More Members We Have,
The More We Can Make a Difference.
iDANZ – The Social Network Where Dancers Live!
Want to stay connected to iDANZ? Join our network
using the following services: