News Column

'RiskIntuitionLove' at Richmond Ferry Church

July 27, 2014

By Colin Dabkowski, The Buffalo News, N.Y.



July 27--Dancers Nancy Hughes and Scott Slocum, two of Buffalo's most experienced practitioners of contact improvisation -- a kind of free-form dance in which dancers strive to maintain physical contact with one another throughout the performance -- have been branching out into other kinds of dance during this year's festival.

On Sunday afternoon, the pair presented a site-specific outdoor dance performance near the church at Richmond Avenue and West Ferry Street called "RiskIntuitionLove." Audience members were seated into rows of seats facing back-to-back on a stretch of sidewalk between the church and the West Ferry roundabout.

The performance, which I gathered was largely improvised within a roughly outlined framework, was an alternately gasp-inducing and funny exploration of relationship dynamics. Slocum and Hughes started off at opposite ends of the outdoor space, making a series of increasingly creative gestures toward one another. At one point, they finally came together and seemed to play out a kind of strange courtship with one another and the surrounding trees and media sandstone exterior of the church.

At one point, they engaged in some acrobatic hijinks behind a thicket of flowers, emerging with the knees of their khaki pants covered in grass stains and sheepish smiles on their faces. At another, they partially scaled the exterior of the church with one other's support, resulting in more than a couple of frightening moments in which it seemed as if one of them might tumble to the ground.

In all, it was a pleasant 15 minutes of improvisational dance that, at least to my eyes, told a cute story about two people in love, or maybe just on their way to being there. It was also a fine use of the ample outdoor space that the intersection of West Ferry and Richmond, a spot that will hopefully see much more outdoor arts activity in the years to come.

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(c)2014 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.)

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Source: Buffalo News (NY)


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