DANCE REVIEW

LevyDance's 'Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly' at Dance Place

TWEET THIS: Benjamin Levy and Aline Wachsmuth in "Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly," a meditation on 21st-century technology.
TWEET THIS: Benjamin Levy and Aline Wachsmuth in "Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly," a meditation on 21st-century technology. (Andrea Basile)
Monday, January 25, 2010

Facebook, Twitter, text messages and smartphones: All have enabled us to be in constant contact with one another, but have they really brought us closer together? That is the underlying question of LevyDance's "Everyone Intimate Alone Visibly," an evening-length duet Benjamin Levy choreographed for himself and dancer Aline Wachsmuth.

Performed Saturday at Dance Place, the work incorporated Web cameras that captured the dancers' movement in real time and used it to trigger lighting or video effects. By instantly tracking and sometimes repackaging what was happening onstage, it called to mind the viral way information travels through 21st-century technology. The dance also made key players of the audience, who started the show standing, until receiving specific instructions from a recorded voice on how to set up their own chairs.

There were a few weak spots in Levy's choreography, such as a solo section he danced near the end of the piece that seemed like needless filler. But those lapses were outweighed by more thoughtful, provocative moments. Especially striking was a section in which Wachsmuth left the stage, but a video of her dancing was projected on the floor. Levy lay down next to her image and began dancing with it, creating the beautifully sad impression of a relationship that is wrought with emotion and yet strangely devoid of true connection.

Webcams and other bells and whistles aside, it is profoundly interesting to watch Levy move. He's built a distinctive dance style with unfurling arms, coiling wrists and an undulating spine all part of his stock in trade. Each movement bleeds into the next, and sharp lines and airy jumps are few and far between. It's a hard style to duplicate, but Wachsmuth has it mastered. Their stylistic cohesion makes for a strong onstage partnership and boosts the impact of this work.

-- Sarah Halzack


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