By Debra Cash.
Caitlin Corbett Dance Company. At Boston University Dance Theater, 915 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, March 22 and 23.
There are, Wallace Stevens told us, at least 13 ways of looking at a blackbird, and for local dancemaker Caitlin Corbett, there were at least two ways of unpacking Murray Perahia’s performance of the Schubert Impromptu No. 3 in G Flat Major for piano.
In her recent program at the Boston University Dance Theatre, Corbett riffed on the eerie, 1967 Diane Arbus photograph of identical twin girls in Roselle, New Jersey. As Corbett explained for my concert preview, which unbeknownst to us all became the last dance coverage article ever printed in the Boston Phoenix, Corbett wanted to explore the labels of “good” and “not so good” girls.
“Something for Twins” makes its first methodological assertion by being staged as a trio rather than as the expected duet. In bright, frilly dresses, Erin Koh, Nicole Pierce, and Lindsey Ridgeway paw the floor softly, complaintly echoing each others’ shapes like neatly-cut paper dolls. Corbett is a master of activating motion from the knees and elbows, and the motion jostles against the babbling brook that Schubert rolls under his famous melody. Pierce, especially, dances with astonishing transparency, so that each impulse and balance seems to flow from her inner self unimpeded into space. When she leaves the stage, her remaining companions seem bereft.
“Nothing for Twins,” performed after intermission, dresses a different trio, Leah Bergmann, Rebecca Lay, and Kaela Lee, in darker colors. They are brusque in their dancing, interrupting each others’ paths and agendas. The choreography has a feel of stop motion, not the rest of stability but an acknowledgement of absence. Same music, same recorded performance, but heard and felt differently. You can’t step in the same river twice.
c 2013 Debra Cash