Frames | Chicago Fringe Festival 2011 review

Seven short dances ranging from well-danced-if-typical to truly affecting, “Frames” introduces bnw:dance as a solid pickup troupe that’s serious about concept, craft and execution. (That said, the blatant ripoff of Crystal Pite’s Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue, here at 2:50, at the end of Alyssa Gregory’s Flux is a fail.) Slight, riveting performer Felix Cruz flexes the most muscle, whether murdering a comic, RuPaul’s Drag Race–style lip-sync of 4 Non Blondes in What’s Up (concept uncredited); or dancing the shit out of the solo that his competition in that work, Melodie Fais, choreographed, a two-part gem titled i’m dying right now just standing. On a half-empty sheet of paper, none of the works’ scores are credited (again, not cool), but they’re mostly your standard-issue contemporary-dance staples: emotive excerpts from movie soundtracks and driving, anonymous beats. A trio by Hayley Cutler called Good Riddance Donna is the most challenging contribution, a study in composition and metamorphosis that peels itself like an onion. In it, Carly Kontra, Rick Westerkamp and Megan Whittemore are clear-eyed and impenetrable, ace at the open face and soft jaw that let movement speak for itself without robbing it of humanity.

More from the Chicago Fringe Festival 2011

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