Not through yet

By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  December 5, 2007

Unlike its evident philosophical ancestors, Faker didn’t open up anything new during the next 45 minutes. The piece seemed to have been exhumed from some cryogenic vault, with all the mannerisms of early postmodernism intact. Punchy gymnastic movement phrases were repeated in repetitious loops. Music materialized and ceased for no particular reasons. Segments of red carpeting got unrolled and rolled back up, to no particular purpose. People muttered or yelled instructions; other people ignored them or doggedly carried on.

Two persons lay on the floor and sang a pop ballad into two mikes fixed just above their faces. A woman bent over another person who was lying on the floor and blew into her shirt as if she were blowing up a balloon. Someone laid out rubber bands in a neat row on the floor; someone else quite soon afterward picked them up. While something was going on at one side of the space, one of the persons in the coveralls set up a projector that threw a scroll of words onto a side wall. The words were unreadable because the wall was made of mesh.

The program notes riffed importantly about contemporary culture and the continuing “image post-mortem” of Elvis Presley, and asked us to consider things like “impersonation, obsession and ritualistic behavior . . . celebrity and authenticity . . . flattery and stealing . . . ”

The dancers, Karen Sherman, Kristin Van Loon, Joanna Furnans, and Chris Schlichting, with drummer Elliott Durko Lynch, were serious and committed. They seemed never to have heard of the rise and the results of Judson Dance Theater.

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