ADF Argentine Festival

July 8, 2007

American Dance Festival 2007: Argentine Festival

Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University, Durham, NC

July 8–10, 2007

Reviewed by Lea Marshall

Argentine Festival: Gabriela Prado, Edgardo Mercado, Susana Tambutti

In this second program of ADF’s Argentine Festival, Edgardo Mercado’s Plano Difuso stood out sharp and clean, an engrossing study of isolation and fragmentation enforced by technology. A lone figure (Pablo Castronovo) in a red-hooded sweatshirt jogged onstage, into a landscape of horizontal and vertical bars projected on the cyclorama. And from that landscape—though it shifted up and down, widened and narrowed, vanished and reformed as rectangular shafts of light or compartments on the scrim—he never broke free. He danced with images of himself, lit so dimly that the distinction between dancer and projected image melted away.

    That seamless integration of rolling and leaping live dance with video imagery (created in collaboration with Gabriel Gendin) satisfied the human craving for technical and technological virtuosity. Mercado didn’t rest there, however, but wrestled that juxtaposition into a sort of visual fugue, through increasingly complex repetition and variation of patterns on-screen, into which Castronovo plunged with gusto.

    Gabriela Prado and Eugenia Estévez’s Llueve wavered intriguingly between intimacy and remove. But despite fine dancers (the choreographers, plus Luis Oscar Biasotto), nudity, and some interesting shreds of spoken narrative, the work felt like a long, slow dream, hard to make sense of and hard to remember.

    Luciana Acuña’s performance of Susana Tambutti’s The Stab (1985) moved from quirky, to creepy, to chilling with precision and wildness.