Silent screams. A sea of sorrow. The body as a temple for redemption. Welcome to the world of Hae Kyung Lee, a fearless artist whose latest work, “Caught Between Boundaries,” journeys to a netherworld of emotion and pain. Fastidiously performed by Hae Kyung Lee and Dancers on Saturday, this 30-minute triptych, recently mounted in Germany and South Korea, left the audience at Cal State L.A.'s State Playhouse stunned. And, to those willing to go there, in a province of awe.
As danced by Miguel Olvera, Claudia Lopez and Jose Reynoso, with Steve Moshier’s taped score percussively thrumming along, the work stripped away any veneer to lay bare a piercingly private angst: Olvera began in a chair, twirling into a handstand. As if defying gravity, his body morphed into a horizontal cross. Blackout: Long sheets of bubble wrap covered the stage as Lopez, savagely flailing her long hair, proved a mystical cipher.
G. Shizuko Herrera’s lights washed the stage in hallucinatory pinks, blues and purples. Reynoso, an atomic roadrunner, zoomed back and forth; the trio then quaked convulsively as if jolted by bolts of electricity. Moshier’s score veered toward melody -- Bach-like inventions -- as Olvera and Lopez took turns (yin, yang) lifting each other. The final tableau: Lopez holding Olvera by his torso, spinning him around, a universe in constant flux.
The previously reviewed “Blank Slate” and “Voices From the Deep” both offered indelible images of sculptural purity (and a watery frieze in the latter, where the performers bathed in fabric-covered tubs), with Kishisa Ross and Sacheen Nehring adding their talents to Lee’s vision.