Z Space @ Theater Artaud, San Francisco
June 4, 2010
Google Woman: Images of Female takes its audience on a journey between perception and reality. Presented this past weekend by Quixotic Dance Technologies, this work conveys the porous relationship between female symbols and our conception of them. A series of vignettes examined nine different figures and sought to explore how much of ourselves we inject into these icons.
The blurry line between truth and imagination was best illustrated by the Anne Boleyn section, danced by Maria LaMance and Coreen Danaher. The strong characteristics of courtly Renaissance dance shone with intricate and delicate footwork: balletés, petit rond de jambes, and pas de bourées. The upper bodies remained quiet but responsive; LaMance and Danaher's demeanor evoking and reflecting the dignity and formality of court. At the same time, choreographer Paris Wages infused bits of contemporary movement into the dance, which revealed and questioned the relationship between historical existence and contemporary presence.
Video imaging was a huge part of Google Woman. The opening sequence featured a dancer whose face was masked by a white sheet, while numerous visions of women were broadcast where her face would be. In the 3rd segment of the piece (Morgaine), the soloist's live dance was interspersed with reflections of her 'recorded self' dancing on a screen. This use of technology and videography was conceptually interesting, though its execution did interrupt the flow. At several points, members of the stage crew had to enter the space to set-up the electronics. Depending on the venue, it may be impossible to avoid this; still, it is important to acknowledge that these disruptions give any full-length work a choppy feeling.
Google Woman: Images of Female featured choreography by Paris Wages, Anandha Ray, Michael Lowe and Jennifer Charles. The movement created by each of them was interesting, appropriate and indicative of the different historic and mythical icons. They definitely did their homework and research before composing the individual sections. Having said that, much of the evening was over-choreographed. The amount of movement could have been cut in half, not in terms of length, but certainly in density. There was too much dance happening, sometimes to the point that the choreography crossed into a competitiony-dance studio look. The images of the women and the message of the project would be much clearer with some editing. Less really can say more.