THE DAILY GRIND
nytheatre.com review by Tim Cusack
By far the most enjoyable 35 minutes you
will spend in this year’s FringeNYC can be had by stopping by the
Linhart Theatre for KIN Dance Company’s collection of short,
interrelated pieces The Daily Grind. Frit and Frat Fuller’s Los
Angeles.-based company combines the razzle-dazzle of Dreamland’s music
video industry with canny po-mo gestural dance, goofy stage presence,
and social commentary. The result is unlike anything else currently
happening in New York’s dance scene and proves once again how valuable
the festival is for exposing us islanders to what’s going on in the rest
of this country’s alt theatre.
August 15, 2003
The Fullers take the average working stiff’s diurnal routine as the often-literal jumping-off point for their dances: In their version of working hard for the money, commuter trains and boardrooms become playgrounds where the inhibitions of corporate life get gleefully discarded. Co-workers progress from flossing their teeth and shaving with an electric razor to tossing each other from the conference table or executing pitch turns on it.
Our day with them begins in "Anxiety" as Kenji Yamaguchi sits alone on stage, unwinding from a rope, and the Fullers crawl along the stage floor with other lengths of rope, eventually dividing the stage into three "runways." The ropes begin to oscillate like stylized waves in Asian theatre, while Yamaguchi jumps over them, turns, uses the upstage one as a ballet barre. Perhaps this is his fever dream the night before the big presentation.
Next we see him at breakfast and then getting on the train to go to work. The Fullers join him in a bouncy trio that becomes progressively more athletic, and soon Jessica Peasant backwards rolls onto the stage, stopping only to brush her teeth. More and more dancers pile into the subway "car" and the movement becomes increasingly complicated, but we never once forget that we’re seeing individuals getting in each other’s way.
The Fullers have something to say: rare in theatre, all too rare in dance. When the company emerges at the end of the piece all in white to dance to the music of the Winans family, the critic in me wants to yell out, "You’re losing specificity of character! This is too sentimental. And the Winans are way homophobic." But the person in me just cries.