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Press + Off Off Off, May 2012

Active Stillness

Hilary Easton shows The Constructors
at Baryshnikov Arts


Dancers standing still at the front of the stage stare
impassively, as we enter, late. Stillness continues to
be the feeling, oddly, even as the dancers move again,
often briskly, often in swirling patterns like eddies
from an oar.

Hilary Easton's The Constructors include
Alexandra Albrecht, Michael Ingle, Joshua
Palmer, Emily Pope-Blackman and Sarah Young.
They work well together, through plenty of lifting
partnering and convoluted entrances and exits.
It is grueling and gentle stuff, big movement with small
gestures. The first curious touch is the tiny push one
dancer gives another as the other spins away, as if
giving a little more impetus to the spinning exit.

A quiet soundtrack by Mike Rugnetta adds to the sense
of watching dragonflies over a pond in a remote forest,
though lighting shifts by Kathy Kaufmann signify distinct
sections and different energy levels.

The overall effect is lulling and pretty, though the dancers
continue to run and work hard as they fly on and off stage,
waiting stageside in stillness when they are not dancing.

The other curious gesture, like an aftertremor or a muscle
memory subsiding, is the small handtwirl dancers do as
they stand arms at sides in the final moments of the piece.
This tiny twirl implies continuity or endlessness even
as all movement ceases and the lights come down. Perhaps
the constructors' job is never done. Hilary Easton
isn't done; this is the 20th anniversary season of
Hilary Easton + Company.

MAY 25, 2012


© Hilary Easton 2006