Reviewer: Rachel Vogel
The Public Reviews Rating:
Mono, Itamar Serussi’s first full-length work performed at The Place, is a sixty-minute wander through the fragmentation of one man’s thoughts. Inspired by the experience of buying a stroller for his newly-born twins, Serussi was struck by the phrase “in three clicks from mono to duo”, paralleling this with his life. As such, this work explores the diversifying and coming together of experiences, and how this coming together can create something new and exciting.
Robotic yet sensuous, Serussi’s dancers possess an uncanny ability to inhabit an abundance of states, allowing the body to become a forum for a kaleidoscope of textures. After performing mechanical movements, dancers began to isolate and ripple their bodies, creating a mesmerizing sequence where the dancers seem neither human nor other. The audience is maintained at a distance as the dancers glance, move to, and freeze away from those that watch them. The space created is a disjointed mish-mash of ideas, concurrent stories that collide at given musically-cued moments.
These relationships are highlights of the piece, developing some sense of connectedness in amongst the diversity of movement. At times the activity occurring can be overwhelming, blinking offers the chance to miss movement sequences that give more evidence of personalities emerging. One dancer can lighten or deepen the tone of another with this idea demonstrated through a touching and well-developed duet performed by Milena Twiehaus and Connor Schumacher. These dancers, remaining decidedly in their own zone were still able to connect enough to move alongside one another, interacting with small insinuations rather than overt gestures.
This work, rather than distilling a conceptual point, succeeds in presenting the broad spectrum of experience, witnessed through the filter of Serussi. His movement vocabulary can be childlike and playful but remains intricate and grounded. For a first full-length work, Serussi has presented something which is thought-provoking and engaging albeit too diversified at times. In one viewing, it is difficult to digest the enormity of movement presented, but at least the audience is left wanting more.