Sally Silvers & Dancers

June 10, 2004

Sally Silvers & Dancers
Danspace Project

New York, New York

June 10–13, 2004

Reviewed by Eva Yaa Asantewaa


Sally Silvers designed her new DREAMSDOCOMETRUE as two big dreams overlapping into one that stretches across the night. Who knows how her dancers remember every surprising detail of this prodigious flow of movement? It feels too long by ten or fifteen minutes, but you’ll probably hear no complaints since the dancing is compelling and technically fabulous, and the lighting (Kathy Kaufmann) and sound design (Bruce Andrews) are—befitting the inspiration—out of this world.

Part 1 (“Metro Nightie”) opens with Silvers, Abby Chan, Noemí Segarra, and Edisa Weeks dipped in four small pools of light where, asleep but restless, they splay and unfold. Costumer Elizabeth Hope Clancy has dressed them in summery nightwear that looks as comfy as the choreography seems weirdly uncomfy. For instance, one dancer may be deeply bent backward, eyes shut, while her vigilant partner carts her away. Dreamer Weeks finds her head floating amid a circle of six raised fists or happily romps around the space until Chan grabs her and later pumps her like a mustard dispenser. The beautiful, abundant disarray includes an aural collage that suggests a sometimes static-y cosmic radio whose tuning dial spins freely from a snatch of an old Latin dance tune to Patsy Cline to the cry of whales.

While everyone but Silvers continues to dance for a short time, Sigal Bergman, Alicia Díaz, Jamie Di Mare, and Alejandra Martorell—angelic in the elegant drapery of white dresses and culottes—suddenly loom up from nowhere to launch Part II (“Lustration”). This new team’s movements look

Apollonian—there’s a fair amount of symmetry, unison or, at least, similarity. The dancers’ arms or legs often arc up or shoot out like jagged rays from “twinkling” stars. The music sounds extraterrestrial; recorded words mostly race backwards. Suddenly a voice clearly intones, “Cupcake party beam me up,” describing this quartet better than any critic could do.

Silvers’ more succinct Dang Me, a poetic solo backed by the high, lonesome bluegrass of the Stanley Brothers, completed the program. Her dancing evokes place, atmosphere, feeling, and character with nary a literal, tired image or linear narrative.