Allyson Green Dance and Peter Terezakis

October 7, 2005

Ángel Arámbula, Briseida López (front couple), Azalea López and Henry Torres (back couple) in
Choreography by Allyson Green

Photo by Elazar Harel, courtesy Allyson Green Dance


Allyson Green Dance and Peter Terezakis
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA

October 7–9, 2005

Reviewed by Janice Steinberg


Amir Khastoo, a joyous dancer, capers like Zorba the Greek in Heart Beats Light, the most magical of Allyson Green’s new collaborative works at the San Diego Museum of Art. A luminous exploration of memory and loss, Heart Beats Light has as its guiding spirit Artemis Terzis, the Greek-born grandmother of Green’s primary collaborator (and husband), visual artist Peter Terezakis. Terzis was 100 when she died in 2003, and her voice—ancient, oracular—weaves through Alan Stones’ dreamlike score, as do seagulls and rembetiko (Greek blues).

Balkan folk steps burst out often in this dance, performed in the museum’s softly lit (by Terezakis) sculpture garden. The eight dancers drift reflectively, mock-wrestle, and pose as if for vintage photographs. Green isn’t afraid of stillness, and it lends power to the moment when (echoing a 1968 Jean Dupuy sculpture, Heart Beats Dust) nine fluorescent lights, one for each dancer and one for Terzis, pulse to the rhythm of Terezakis’ heartbeat.

, a duet choreographed and performed with Monica Bill Barnes, initially explores delicious contrasts between Green’s elegance and Barnes’ quickness. Then both launch into turbulent turns, arms thrusting and scooping, like the electricity in Terezakis’ desert light installations on the video behind them. (This and the two other dances were performed indoors.)

Another desertscape, lush with manipulated color, fills Heather Raikes’ video for Flower, but much of this too-static piece constrains Victor Alonso to arm movements in front of the screen. In the most interesting section, Alison Dietterle Smith and Sadie Weinberg wear Terezakis’ LED lights, which (previously filmed) create a starry sky.

Excerpted from In the Name (2001), Recordar is Green’s renewed response to the tragically renewed plight of refugees. Keeping the original Balkan costumes, she set Recordar on the gifted young Tijuana company Lux Boreal Danza Contemporánea. Four dancers advance in a wary pack, clinging together until a predatory intruder fractures their unity. The program’s oldest dance and its one noncollaboration, Recordar had the most exciting dancing. It made me hope that, despite the strength of Green’s best collaborations, some of her future work will follow nothing but her own generous muse. See