DANCE REVIEW : ISO Offers Two New Works at Pepperdine Campus

Although ISO has gained an international reputation for gymnastic daring and offbeat physical humor, some of us have long suspected that the company exists primarily as a showcase for Daniel Ezralow's Superman physique. (Doesn't its three-letter name stand for "I'm So Overdeveloped"?)

As usual, Ezralow appeared in various states of undress throughout the ISO program at Pepperdine on Thursday, but, significantly, his newest choreographic effort satirized a society in which people are viewed only as sex objects.

Set to passages by Mozart intercut with the harsh and often apocalyptic modernisms of Michel Colombier and Marc Tchanz, "Trazom!" represented a kind of lascivious pavane: anti-ballet in its mockery of highbrow dance conventions, anti-MTV in its put-down of mindless, high-fashion lust.

Wearing skin-tight, high-gloss synthetics, Brian Frette, Jack Gallagher, Ashley Roland and Morleigh Steinberg relentlessly cruised, groped, spanked and sampled one another during a series of stylish party games.

Clever and resourcefully sustained, "Trazom!" proved far more focused than the other new work on the five-part program: "Slow Fade to Roger" by Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland.

Here the pile-up of effects included a deafening score (by John Paul Jones, Lounge Lizards), portable lighting units wielded by the five-member cast and enough stage smoke to mandate an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, the piece itself seemed merely a collage of workshop movement tasks: trying to dance with someone when both partners are chained together by arms held like hoops, for example.

But, for all its high-energy chases, collisions and special effects, the piece went nowhere.

The familiar "Woomen," "I Do" and "Night Thoughts" completed the program, with a whole lot of Ezralow on view in each.

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