DANCE REVIEW | 'IT'S ALL TRUE'
Memories Etched in Motion
By JENNIFER DUNNING
Published: June 2, 2007
Hilary Easton takes a wise and witty look at memory in “It’s All True,” which opened on Thursday night at The Duke on 42nd Street. What do we remember? How close are our memories to the events remembered? How do memories weave together to color or construct a life? Ms. Easton manages to suggest the answers in her hourlong piece, creating a bold new life and community onstage as she goes.
The sweet-smelling glue that holds it all together is movement that pours out onto the stage in dollops of large, looping choreography that is the dance equivalent of the easy sound of Thomas Cabaniss’s atmospheric, subtly building and waning score. Dancers slip out from, and back into, the wings for moments of engagement that are as nonlinear and seemingly coincidental as everyday encounters. Nothing is stressed or portentous.
Watching the piece unfold, you realize two things about Ms. Easton’s work over the last 15 years or so and why it is so intelligent and engaging. She choreographs like a poet, weaving together piercing, elliptical observations. And she knows her dancers lovingly and well. One blended element in “It’s All True” is Dorothy Barnhouse’s plain, poetic text. Another is the way the seven performers’ personalities seem to have inspired everything they do onstage.
Steven Rattazzi is the indispensable heart of the piece, an actor who moves and speaks the text with charmingly nebbishy certainty. He remembers a lost love, most touchingly in mundane details. And Ms. Easton lets us see what that love meant in a sweetly hesitant, breath-stopping duet for the arms of two standing lovers (Mr. Rattazzi and Marie Zvosec), who are themselves breathless with the discovery of each other.
An eager, pensive young dancer (Brian Gerke) tries to perform a solo he believes he has learned from two bossy, dissatisfied older dancers (Emily Stone and Leslie Cuyjet), in a terrific cast completed by Jessica Cook and Isaac Gonyo. There’s a remarkable truthfulness to “It’s All True.”