White Bird Dance presented Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak Dance Company’s Wallflower, Oct 22, at Lincon Hall on the Portland State University campus.
A richly luxuriant piece, Wallflower investigates relational connections in and around a contrived space, a two-sided wall, hard-sided and sturdy, that dancers can slide up and across.
The performers are uniformly strong and committed, wearing brightly colored knit bodysuits, they move with a collective pulse and rhythm through ambient music by Unitaro Abe, Mayu Gonto and Hirofumi Nakamura.
The piece has a methodical, somber quality, with mysteries and inventions providing some accent from the staid work. At times, the structures of the dance veer into the predictable, as canons and crossings give way not to variation, but simply repetition.
Would the piece be as effective without these darn cool unitards? It’s hard to say. There is something overly wrought in the characters presented. Zvi Fishvon wears an enormous knitted costume, and seems to swallow other dancers whole, transforming into a monstrous, grub-like visage.
Other moments, too, churn and crackle like verdant insects munching, and have a quality of unrest, of dis-ease.
Jeremy Alberge is compelling, crisp and clean, his technique and expression in perfect harmony. Oz Mulay, too, has an intriguing presence, heartfelt, open. Cordelia Lange is also compelling, somehow raw yet elegant, a mover with broad and encompass capacity to communicate. All the dancers have an ethereal, yet earthy quality, stripped bare when the knitwear comes off, to reveal a universal: tank tops and men’s underwear for all.
Clocking in at one hour, the piece generates more heat in its last ten minutes than in the first fifty. It finds its legs and creates dynamic, gorgeous pathways and level changes, careening through space with a celestial cadence. A fascinating meditation.
This company is one to watch.