A Meeting Place
continued his use of war themes by looking at U.S.relations with Afghanistan. It’s pleasing to see how certain modes of his process intuitively lend themselves to contextual meaning—the characteristic use of chairs to keep those who aren’t dancers still involved in the action, like a mini-audience reflecting back reactions of world affairs, or the straightforward entrances and exits between works like a soldier’s stoic preparation in face of battle. And stylistically, Spectrum dancers are in a battle with their own physicality and the extraordinary demands placed on them choreographically. Vincent Lopez, with hands behind his back and wrapped around one leg, extends to an excruciating 180 degree à la seconde. Cara-May Marcus, in a duet with Donald Jones, Jr., penchéespast 180 degrees with her back to Jones and leg up on his shoulder. In some ways Meeting recalls a simpler version of Interrupted Narratives/WARwith its massive chair section for the entire company and florescent lighting from the back of the stage but without the specific focus on the magnitude of death and sacrifice. The focus of this new work is unclear as yet, but these soldiers are less tragic than the former. With both Afghani and U.S. soldiers represented, they are very much active in debate, constantly negotiating and almost spryly engaging each other. In an exciting mock boxing match between Dereck Crescenti and the acrobatic Shadou Mintrone, they tumble and fight, but with the other dancers cheering them on almost playfully. Traditional live music by August Denhard on the lute and Munir Beken on the ud, two instruments that have a shared history but diverged in form during the Medieval Period, created a thread of commonality between the two warring sides.