Stuck-togetherness

By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  July 21, 2009

Halfway through, Elam enters wearing a fitted cutaway jacket made of some sleazy, greenish-grayish material with ruffles sticking out of the cuffs and fake pockets, and a wrinkled black neckerchief. Suddenly the dance takes on a Dickensian mysteriousness.

On tiptoes and with stiff legs, people stalk one another, scurry in and out. The lifts and interlocking bodies get more complicated, more impossible. Women are carried upside down or cantilevered horizontal to the floor. Elam, on his knees and apparently no-handed, hoists up two women who lean out above him with outstretched arms. The weirder all this gets, the calmer and brainier the dancers look.

Misnomer's dances don't strike me as stories, or even temporary relationships. They're more like parables about the struggle to reconcile the premeditated with the absurd.

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