Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Sally Nash is one of our original locally based choreographers. She directs "The Last Minute Wood Company," a commune-dance troupe from Rappahannock County which presented a dance-theater piece called "Gathering Together" at Dance Exchange Sunday night.Nash uses untrained or semi-trained performers and works in a mode (inherited from the '60s) that intentionally blurs the distinctions between "real-life" and "theatrical" experience. It's a mode which can be appealing and, in Nash's case, sometimes frustrating.
The unique look of Nash's stage is soft and natural. She's splendid at evoking the romance of simple cotton dresses and homely, well-worn objects. The most successful movement episodes were equally romantic in feeling: a lovely rocking-chair duet for two women, and a fantasy for a man and a woman in the guise of a horse in pursuit of her, the man gradually transforms himself into a horse.
Too often, however, Nash allows didactic impulses to impede the natural logic of her imagery, and she's given to a peculiarly literal kind of mime which mixes oddly with her basic modern dance idiom. Her talent seems not quite jelled, but Nash is still one of the more individual spirits in our midst.