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Kessler Creates Dreamy Land of Surge, Drift

TIMES DANCE CRITIC

As Southern California turns to water week by week, Lynette Kessler’s half-hour go-with-the-flow modern dance solo “Place With No Words” seems not only superbly supple but remarkably prescient.

Undulating atop a tunnel-sculpture by John Wallis in the gallery performance space at 2100 Square Feet on San Vicente near Fairfax, Kessler embodies a floating dreamlike state of nonstop surge and drift. Computer-generated projections by CGI artist @MIC make her look virtually transparent in a world of pools and streams, while composer Amy Knowles supplies turbulent musical contexts for the performance. The score may be a mite aggressive; pure lyricism would serve the unhurried, incremental motion more successfully.

Eventually, Kessler awakens and her movement style becomes more gestural, directed and somehow landlocked--reflecting the character of a task-driven woman who may reach into the water at times and maybe fish from it but no longer belongs to it. Even “dry,” however, her concentration and mastery of positional nuance stay engrossing but the work’s deepest moments come in her statements of liquid, holistic integration: movement impulses rippling throughout her body with no seams or points of tension to slow or block them.

In contrast, Rob Sullivan’s gritty monodrama “Thicker Than Water, Thinner Than Ice” on the same program features virtually no movement at all except for a depiction of a disastrous dance-floor encounter. It capitalizes instead on growing physical tension and speech of ever-darkening obsessive force. Too many false endings weaken the piece, but Sullivan always remains compelling as a performer.

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Kessler and Sullivan appeared Thursday as part of 2100’s first SOLO: One-Person Show Festival, with other artists scheduled tonight and Sunday.

* SOLO, tonight at 8; Sunday, 7 p.m. 2100 Square Feet, 5615 San Vicente Blvd. (at Hauser). Tonight, $15; Sunday, $10. (213) 660-TKTS.


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