Gerald Casel at Danspace Project

Photo by Ho Chang

Thursday night took us to Danspace Project for Gerald Casel’s new works “Fluster” and “Plot”. “Fluster” was a male trio and “Plot” a female quintet, both were accompanied by by original music by Matthew Meade and Kyle Olson, performed live by Matthew Meade on guitar and laptop.

I really enjoyed both pieces.  Culturebot’s regular readers will know that Maura Donohue usually covers dance, and with good reason. I find it incredibly difficult to write about. I have yet to learn how to properly notate the movement I’m watching or aptly describe the territories mapped. That being said, I found Casel’s work really enjoyable.  It was great to see dancers really dance – athletically with precision, passion and focus.

Fluster is described as exploring how the body copes with the subjective and ephemeral nature of the mind, particularly in states of confusion or agitation” and Plot “examines storytelling from the point of view of creators, performers and witnesses.”  I’d be hard-pressed to explain exactly how those dances do that, but I can say that from a strictly aesthetic point of view, Casel moves his dancers in clear shapes and patterns through the space, the movement sequences/phrases build on each other in interesting ways and the dynamics between the dancers are always engaging. They never seem over-emotional but they seem connected physically and psychologically. Its like elegant geometry. And the music was fantastic – spare but rich, a nice balance of acoustic/electric, melody and noise.

The run at danspace is over but I’m glad I got introduced to Gerald Casel’s work and I look forward to seeing more in the future.

Read Roslyn Sulcas’ review of “Fluster” and “Plot” in the NY TIMES.

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