BADCo from Croatia in New York
The following short review of a performance by the Zagreb Dance Company
BADCo. appeared in the December 13, 2003 edition of the New York Times.
Wanderers from Central and Eastern Europe
By JACK ANDERSON <<ole0.bmp>>
After watching a bit of "Solo Me," which Pravdan Devlahovic and Nikolina
Bujas-Pristas of BADco. danced on Dec. 7 at Performance Space 122, it
would have been easy to grumble that the dancers were just wandering
around. They continued to wander for about an hour. But their rambling,
though inconsequential, became just oddly fascinating enough to prevent
BADco., a Zagreb-based Croatian group, is here as part of the Central
Station dance festival from Central and Eastern Europe, which is taking
place through Dec. 20 at various downtown locations in Manhattan.
``Solo Me'' combined two independently created solos to recorded scores:
Mr. Devlahovic's ``Solo in A Major, op. 69,'' to the second movement of
Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Op. 92, and Ms. Bujas-Pristas's ``And this
is no longer a beginning,'' to Ivan Marusic's sharply rhythmic
``Kliff.'' In this presentation, staged in the round, one dancer
sometimes moved alone; sometimes the other moved alone; sometimes both
moved simultaneously. Sequences of music were punctuated by silences.
Mr. Devlahovic, who is solidly built, paced back and forth ,
sporadically interrupting his pacings with head shakes, twisting
movements and sprawls on the floor. Ms. Bujas- Pristas, a lithe dancer,
hopped and darted with agility.
Many steps in both solos were commonplace, and the dancers' informal
manner made even complex steps look commonplace. Yet the dancers also
commanded attention simply because they wandered with great
concentration and appeared to be enjoying themselves, as if playing
their own favorite games in a playground for adults.
They also played games with the audience. Ms. Bujas-Pristas occasionally
grasped spectators in the first row, who amiably supported her as she
balanced. And, once, I found Mr. Devlahovic staring at me intently. I
stared back. He kept staring. So did I. Then I smiled; he winked and
resumed his wandering.