DARRAH CARR DANCE
nytheatre.com review by Sarah Wolfman-Robichaud
More Darrah. That’s what I
kept thinking every time the knowing smile of Darrah Carr and her fellow
star dancer/spoon-player, Niall O’Leary, took to the stage. I want to
see more of them. The Darrah Carr Dance concert consists of five pieces,
inspired by traditional Irish folk dances and modern/improvisational
dance. The evening was well spent, with a few exceptions, and overall
August 15, 2003
Two of the five dances are performed by the very talented Darrah Carr herself, and her partner, O’Leary. The chemistry between these two bodies deserves a standing ovation. Darrah and Niall’s dances create a sense of rhythmic foreplay that builds from an innocent twirling tableau to an energetic battle of the sexes. The two know each other’s steps like they know their own. Since we Americans have only recently been introduced to this form of dance through the televised Michael Flatley’s Riverdance, my neighbor in the audience was not out of line when at the end of the evening he cried, "Eat your heart out, Flatley!"
The other three pieces in the evening do not come close to Carr’s own. One is truly a work in progress, while the other two do not seem quite as cohesive as the short musings of Darrah and Niall. In each, two to six girls prance around the stage in flowing gowns to many different styles of music. Their faces are plastered with smiles, but the commitment to the emotion of the movement is lacking. Dancers Claire Malaquias and Breezy Berryman lead the girls in gravity-defying leaps and freezes in their child-like playtime on the stage. These girls are lovely, but Darrah truly stands out as the star.
This dance concert is worthy of much praise, although the complete message remains an unclear concept. The Irish, jazz, and Quebecois music leaves you tapping your feet out the door, but it also makes you speculate that it would’ve been nice if only you could have seen more of Darrah.