DANCE REVIEW : Wit and Ritual Share Bill

As part of Highways’ 4th Asian Pacific American Performance series in Santa Monica, Dulce Capadocia, Hiroko Hojo and Karen J. Woo presented a weekend program called “Power in the House.” Each choreographer danced in her own work, sometimes drawing on story-telling and ritual practices, almost always using movements that were strongly sculptural, lyrical and calmly focused.

For Woo, the power also came from a captivating wit. In “Memoirs of a Scrooge,” there was a great sense of timing and kitschy detail in two of the scenes and a video (which is, for the cyberspace-literate, also available on the Internet via World Wide Web).

In the “Unduet” section, Woo flirts with a smitten man in calculated, vacuous fashion until a business call renders her sexy, syncopated and completely unaware he exists. “Solo” was actually a clever, cartoon-like duet with Kevin Bachman’s looming shadow. Unseen, Brian Gross provided synthesized accompaniment.

“Try It!” was Woo’s pseudo-formal, danced interpretation of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” Rev. Eric W. Britain provided playfully well-enunciated narration (sometimes echoed by parents in the audience), while Woo tried to keep up, matching both mimetic and arbitrary movements to phrases of the story.


In a very different mood, Dulce Capadocia began “The Gatherer” as a stooped wayfarer, then seemed to relive her youth to a taped collage score of chanting, drums and sinister electronic sounds. The careful gathering of rocks and sticks and the slow-motion, animal-like crawls and undulating arms, rising and falling, all contributed to a mystical ritual atmosphere.

The program also included “Ayumi,” a somewhat rambling but elegantly serpentine solo by Hiroko Hojo.