In a concert last night at the Dance Exchange four area choreographers tackled the age-old dilemma of the separation of the artistic product from the life of the creator. Devoted to "Autobiographical Work," these dances ranged from almost complete objectification of life experiences to unabashed role-playing. Their common thread was an emphasis on internal rather than visual motivation.
Nancy Galeota's "Moving/Not Necessarily Up" and "Mom Calls Again" dealt with the problems an artist faces in choosing ascetic poverty over the alternative world of condos and credit cards. Galeota chose a constant jumping motion to keep the wolf, as well as a parent anxious for her success, away from the door.
An honest portrayal of the choreographic process, including days of no desire even to move, was the motive behind Cathy Paine's "Yesterday." This day-by-day accumulation of movement, the dancer's equivalent of an unedited journal, insured a dance replete with radical shifts in energy and mood.
A hypnotic study in circular rhythms and torque, Esther Geiger's "Spiration" was based on a childhood experience with asthma. However, the work could also be comfortably viewed as an abstract study, the only one of the evening's offerings. In contrast, Sally Nash's tormented and mysterious "A Length of Childhood" was the most blatantly soul-baring narrative. Ironically, Nash revealed that in this process she had achieved artistic solutions, when those of real life had eluded her.