In last Friday's opening of this sensually dense and theatrically bleak dance/performance work, the latest commission in the
Aquarius Juice, a previous collaborative dance piece by Pradera for
The notes for Bare Bones say it aims to examine power dynamics and alienation between people. It opens with Pradera, in tight flesh-toned briefs and top, writhing in metallic silver material in the SandBox theater's storefront window -- as if trapped in a high-tech cocoon. Inside, a bare-chested Godoy squats on a pile of gnarled stumps, branches and chunks of wood, head encased in a rough, funnel-like covering; with the sound of roaring waves and wind, he seems to be a kind of Cyclops, trapped on an island.
Over the course of the piece, Godoy and Pradera circle each other, connect and separate again. The wood pieces become precarious bridges and tiny atolls. They're tortured in isolation -- but just as much so when they unite. At one point Pradera, both hands on her neck, seems to try to strangle herself. Godoy writhes and contorts wildly, veering thrillingly between directed and uncontrolled impulse. They seem whiplashed by forces inside them, which they vainly try to uproot.
The physical extremes become even more harrowing as they come together: slamming each other against the back wall; staggering with faces pressed together as they try to lick each other, like incestuous Siamese twins; slithering into staggering lifts. The violence strips the sensuality from the often sexually freighted movement. They seem to desperately want to be intimate but are too frightened, or don't know how. When Godoy, balanced precariously on a stump, pleads "will somebody help me?" Pradera doesn't respond. When they finally split for good, each alone on a territorial pile, it's dismal, but also a relief.
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