:The Ithacan; :Feb 14, 1991; :None; :11


ART S/ENTERT AINMENT Unusual 'Dance ' exceeds limits REVIEW


By Tammy M. Lynch

Dance Unlimited, IC's annual dance conceit, celebrates expression. _It is an exploration of dance's unique ability to communicate through the integration of movement, music, electronic media and speech. The show, which opened February 12, isafresh ,innovauveproduction for a thinking, questioning audience. This year's concert consists of eight separate works by four _theater faculty members and one _student The production offers a mix of ballet_, jazz and modem dance. Throughout the concert_, dancers use a variety of unusual objects, such as chairs, metal poles, stilts, film and video to explore topics as diverse _as censorship and _inequality. Robin Hertlein, a _theater faculty member and one of the productions choreographers, said iheintentofDance Unlimited is _to "open peoples' eyes, toexploredefinitionsof dance, toexperience dance as more than whatpeople are _accustomed to as an art form." The production succeeds admirably at this goal. It is, however, sometimes confusing_, as if you've just turned on the last hour of a fourpart miniseries - something important is happening , but you can't quite catch up on the story.

The most innovative and experimental dance in the production is also the most bewildering. Hertlein's"Metropolis," which

opens the show, is a multimedia piece combining f ilm, video, slides, audio, and _acting to portray the chaos and _inhumanity of life in an American metropolis. Film and slides are splashed along the back wall of _the stage; images flicker across a television screen; dancers walk precariously on _stills and jump on and off chairs - all to demonstrate what _Henlein sees as _the the cluttered, fast-paced , life in a city. At times, _the dance is extremely effective, as individual _after individual struggles against the cruelty and chaos of the city. Unfortunately, the piece becomes so chaotic _that _it becomes overwhelming. There is no link between the di fferent sections of the dance, or between the characters. Even the choreography, which is _interesting and admirable, is smothered by an overabundance of props and electronic media_. Unlike "Metropolis ," Norm Johnson Jr.'s "Slat Dance" benefits from its use of props. Jo hnson, a _theater faculty member, straps neon _metal poles on his dancers arms, legs and backs. Throughout the dance, the _stage is _completely dark_, _except for those blue metal rods thai seem to float through _the air. The overall _effect is mesmerizing. If _the success of a socially conscious Dance Unlimited' explores unconventional _elements of dance

work is its ability to make the audience _think, dance composition _student Alexander Westerman's "Flight of Icarus" triumphs.

    "Icaru s. " based on Greek _mythology_, examines an artists search for truth and freedom of expression. Photo by _Miles Fawcett

In the myth, Icarus and his father are held captive in Greece. They build wings of feathers and wax to soar to freedom , but when Icarus flies too close to the sun, his wings mell and he plummets to his death. See 'Dance age 14