Just over 18 months ago, choreographers Pamela Casey and Steven Nagler presented a work for four stout men (entitled “Shrimps”) that passed from easy laughs to an intriguing study of personalities breaking down and being controlled/supported by a group.

Since then, in a collaboration with several other artists, the choreographers have simplified the episode and embedded it in a larger work which utilizes a corps of ten women dancers. The new “Shrimps: The Mind/Body Problem,” seen Thursday at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, is a case of bigger not being better.

The work lacked focus, wit and point and, even at just under an hour, it went on far too long.

Against cutesy messages flashed across an electric sign, a phalanx of ten women in red costumes alternately performed with four stout men in work clothes.


The women went through tight drill team and mocking aerobic exercise maneuvers.

The men recreated the shimmies and shakes of the earlier work and also cross-examined each other.

Perhaps the best moments occurred when the electronic messages ran amok, blending together tales of classic literary lovers.

Gail Youngquist created the set pieces and lurid costumes. Craig and Ruth Gilmore wrote the sometimes lively script. A live band performed the minimally interesting rock score composed by Michael Monteleone.


Tobi Redlich’s “Sacred and Profane Love,” which opened the program, was previously reviewed.