A lot of choreographers these days are so interested in the process of making dances they forget, or don't realize, that steps in themselves aren't always interesting unless combined in unique and unusual ways. Tish Carter and Nancy Galeota are process-oriented choreographers, but their collection of dances called "New Moves," presented at Dance Place this weekend, was full of original twists.
Carter uses stylized versions of natural movement, her dances concerned with objects and order. Galeota's more dancey pieces are based on carefully designed patterns. Both have a healthy sense of humor and rarely fall into the trap of the too-neat ending.
The strongest of the six "new moves" were the first two works on the program. Carter's pungently brief "Placer" has been considerably reworked and shortened since its earlier showing this summer. In its present form, Carter's manipulation of sulfur stones in patterns, first on the floor, then attached to wires suspended from the ceiling, is a pacific and engrossing ritual.
Galeota's "Flail" uses common gestures in unusual ways. Her unusual arm movements are fast becoming her trademark. Here, her arms are like vestigial wings, fluttering and undulating with the music. Changes in dynamics, curling fingers and curious arms give the piece its interest.
Less successful in the context of a program loaded with props, was Carter's "Decoy." Decoy ducks, high marsh grasses, a gun and a tape collage were more predominant than dance in this anti-ode to the hunting season. Are the props a decoy to the lack of dance?