Published: June 29, 2002
Barefoot `Come' helps choreographer Finwall gain a toehold
By Camille LeFevre
Special to the Star Tribune
Alyce Finwall is working hard to create a niche for herself. In her barefoot ballet "Come,"
the New York choreographer, a St. Paul native and former dancer with Ballet of the Dolls, grafts modern-dance moves and vernacular gestures onto an abstract style rooted in classical
Her smart choreography is full of surprises. The 75-minute work (performed without intermission and set to a
sound score by John Jindra) shows a solid intersection of technique and execution, choreography and composition. And Finwall and her three dancers are exacting in their performances, even injecting
the latter part of the piece with flecks of humor.
The non-narrative work has two parts, separated by a rebirthing scene. In the first section, the dancers, dressed in oversize white shirts, hold firm positions
that melt into momentum. They reappear in black and red costumes, juxtaposing the choreography of angular lifts and straight lines with fluttering hands and rippling torsos.
They intercept one another in intriguing ways. Bodies revolve inside another dancer's curved arms. Hands cover eyes and forearms encircle waists, creating cages
that dancers must fight their way out of. Suddenly the stage is flooded with white light, and the dancers perform in robotic unison before collapsing on the floor.
In the piece's one predictable moment, the dancers douse themselves with buckets of water. Youri Kayama slips through a slit in a paper doorway, and so begins
the second part of the piece, filled with softer movements and a hodgepodge of costume changes.
Kayama dances like a rag doll in the spotlight. She meets up with the other three dancers (Finwall, Kathleen Bibalo and Kyle Shukis), who are dressed as
Puritans. Finwall and Bibalo perform a lilting duet full of liquid arms and fluid spins. And all four dancers reappear in black tutus, clapping as they perform the most classical section of this
abstract barefoot ballet.
Is "Come" better than a lot of dance performed in the Twin Cities? Yes. Is it groundbreaking? No. But with this piece, Finwall shows that she has found a niche
she could make her own.
- Camille LeFevre is a St. Paul writer.
Who: Choreography by Alyce Finwall for Dance
Council Movement Theater.
When: 8 p.m. today and Sunday Where: Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Minneapolis.
Tickets: $18. 612-340-1725.