Entertainment » Theatre

freshTENSION

by Steve Weinstein
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday May 8, 2008
’Reach’:  (L-R) Elizabeth DeMent, Gregory Dolbashian, Sharon Milanese, Orlando Martinez
’Reach’: (L-R) Elizabeth DeMent, Gregory Dolbashian, Sharon Milanese, Orlando Martinez  (Source:Julieta Cervantes)

Patrick Corbin is a veteran of Paul Taylor. But he also is someone who can be seen on the dance floor at clubs or on Fire Island. It's that combination of technical skill and the sheer joy of dancing that makes his troupe so unique.

In a city saturated with great dance companies, CorbinDances stands out for exuberance, technique, breadth of selection in music, and fun. I can't remember the last time I sat through a dance recital with a grin on my face, but watching "Infinity," a female solo set to one of Bach's cello suites (performed by an on-stage cellist), I found myself laughing out loud when the dancer started flagging. She separates the flags in two and moves them to the music as well as any queen at the Black Party!

But there are serious moments, although even these are leavened by Corbin's knowing wink. Other members of his company have picked up on his vibe. Gregory Dolbashian, who has danced with Corbin since 2006, has choreographed a number to a wild set of music that ranges from Bjork to rap to tribal. I admit I was not as crazy about another piece by a CorbinDances member, Elizabeth Dement's "Underneath"; while danced well, it relied a bit too much on head ticks and other Downtown avant-garde staples for my taste.

The rest of the program I experienced on May 4 was sheer and utter delight. "Romantic Conversations" takes Rachmaninov's over-the-top romantically lush orchestrations and explores them with leaps, runs and wild turns.

CorbinDances is lucky to be presented in the Joyce Soho, an intimate space that allows the audience to engage with the dancers better than the larger Joyce in Chelsea.

Even if you're a neophyte to dance, if you've ever moved your feet on the dance floor or just watched with delight an old MGM musical, you're going to love the exhilarating movements of CorbinDances. Moving through so many styles of dance with so much ease, it feels like a compressed history of serious dancing, but much more than that, just plain fun.

CorbinDances
Through May 11 only!
Joyce Soho
155 Mercer St.
212-352-3101
Tickets $25/$15

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).


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