Monday, November 16, 2009

Maria Hassabi's SoloShow.

Maria Hassabi, SoloShow

I have had a week full of interesting Performa events, and the one that keeps sticking in my mind is Maria Hassabi's dance/performance piece SoloShow, performed by Hristoula Harakas last night at PS122. It was such a great collision of grace, tension, grotesqueness, seduction and pain. In the hour-long piece, the dancer slowly moved from one excruciating position to the next on top of a black platform, and her body would shake from exhaustion, or her feet and limbs would stretch and bend and change color from the tension. Her arms were covered with bruises, and her hands and feet with callouses.

My favorite part of Hassabi's choreography happened near the end, when Harakas executed a series of strange, angular movements that all flowed into each other, and then she repeated the pattern of movements many times, each time faster and faster. It took me a while to see and understand the pattern of movements, but once I saw it, I anticipated every repetition. I loved how it changed subtly each time--sometimes she would roll onto her back and bash her elbow into the platform, other times she would roll and just let her elbow graze the platform.

At the very end of the piece, she rolled to the back of the platform and dropped off into the darkness.

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