Watching “Coop,” the piece by somebodies dance theater that kicked off the Live Arts Fest on Friday, felt like having a deliciously wacky dream. The evening-length work proceeded by a free-associative logic and offered moments of sublime dance.
As Albrecht’s deception was revealed, Breschi squirmed with a delicious caddishness I hadn’t seen in this role. And when he got on his knees and begged Giselle’s mother (Kimberly Roberts) for forgiveness, wow! She rebuked him with such sharp gestures, I thought she was going to rip him limb from limb—and I hated Albrecht so much, I wanted her to do it.
Judges and two audiences awarded prizes in three categories. Unlike previous years, there were no hip hop armies charging forward. Instead, dances blasted the senses with dramatic ensembles, angry fists, and quirky theater. And love.
Who’s going to die? In Jean Isaacs’ propulsive, stomping, ominous “Rite of Spring,” one dancer after another appears isolated from the rest … and will he/she be chosen to be sacrificed? Erica Ruse does a tortured, limb-flinging solo, while the others stand and watch. And these folks, denizens of a wonderfully creepy leather bar, doesn’t look friendly.
As we anticipated three dances — “Arden Court,” “Changes,” and “Cloven Kingdom,”
there was a sense of connecting with history, almost touching Taylor’s long arms, and those he had touched.
There’s a global palette of movement, from Middle Eastern Sufi dance to Brazilian capoeira to hip-hop, skillfully blended, so for instance the dancers do Sufi spinning not only standing but also, in dramatic B-boy style, on their hands and heads.