nytheatre.com review by April Nugent
The Washington Square United Methodist Church is an
impressive space with its vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows and
the mild perfume of incense. It makes you feel as though you are going
to see something important. And when the evening’s performance is by the
highly esteemed Eva Dean Dance troupe, it is not likely that you will be
August 15, 2003
Sadly I have to report that I cannot give any real critical feedback about the quality or overall effectiveness of the performance because, due to the seating limitations of the space, I could not see the performance. Neither for that matter, could any one else who was not sitting in the front row. The troupe was further plagued by the distraction of audience members who were constantly moving their chairs or getting up to switch seats and whispering as they vainly attempted to get a clear view of the dancers.
It is unfortunate because, based on the glimpses that I could catch, it’s obvious that Dean and her nine dancers are very talented and highly skilled. Performers Jessica Calhoon, Mandy Sau-Yi, Eva Dean, Rachel Frank, Cassie Mey, Laura Nash, Meghan McCoy, Lynne Schlesinger, Emily Todras and Brooke Welty should all be commended for their committed, energetic, and professional performance under difficult conditions and in stifling heat.
What I can tell you is that Booted is an hour and twenty-minute production featuring four dance suites, three of which are world premieres. Highlights include "Welcome Back," which is the most successful piece of the evening, beautifully integrating physicality, relationships, and story, and the keynote and title dance "Booted," which sets high-heeled shoes against combat boots. As choreographed and conceived by Dean, the dances display strength, grace, and a sense of humor.
If FringeNYC could have managed risers for the Church it could have provided an inspiring backdrop for this production but as it is, it is literally impossible to view the performance. So while I can not recommend seeing Booted at FringeNYC, I would certainly encourage you to catch this critically acclaimed company under better circumstances.