Yannis Adoniou’s up-and-coming experimental dance company Kunst-Stoff made its debut at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater over the weekend. As I write in my necessarily succinct review for the Chronicle:

” “As we close their eyes,” created with input from two representatives of the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, had moments of promise. At one point Kara Davis and Jose Campos danced a clingy duet while Sheldon Smith and Nicole Bonadonna provided absurdly inadequate verbal descriptions. At another, Austin Forbord traced Bonadonna’s body with a video camera, the live images imitating the sensation of touch. Jennifer Vogt’s stage design drew a red string above the audience like a laser beam. It was anchored to the stage by a red drum that made mysterious noises when the string was touched.

But for most of the work, the effects remained too distant to compellingly engage the senses. When four mikes lowered to amplify the dancers’ panting breath, when sounds continued as they moved through darkness, the ideas were understood rather than felt. I wondered if Kunst-Stoff weren’t having trouble transferring their avant-gardism to a larger venue. “As we close their eyes” might have worked better as an installation at one of the more intimate spaces Kunst-Stoff usually plays, where the dancers are so close that you can feel their energy and smell their sweat. ”

Click here for the full review.

1 Comment

  • Therese Hercher Posted February 18, 2006 11:47 am

    this Lost Night website doesn’t allow for Comments yet, so I’ll do it here:
    February 18, 2006

    Rachel Howard:

    I finished your memoir, ?the lost night? in the wee hours this morning. It was riveting beyond all expectation. From the moment I cracked the spine, it invited me to ignore every important routine chore of mine: dirty dishes, daily exercise, and meals (though I did manage to go to work and to feed the cat) until I reached the last page.

    You write masterfully, devoid of self-pity and the lachrymose language you might easily (and justifiably) have indulged. I very much respect that, especially under your tragic circumstances and your search for information and answers.

    Memory IS elusive. And unreliable. In your case, it was formed and circumscribed by a very limited frame-of-reference.

    You were only ten years old when this murder occurred. It retrospectively defined you. That?s what I found so interesting* in your book (*I initially used the word instructive, but that?s a bit sterile). While I have read (and probably own!) just about every true-crime / courtroom / forensic book that exists, your memoir approaches murder from a point-of-view I?ve rarely considered (other than to feel sadness): a child?s perspective when a parent is murdered and where there is no resolution. It illustrates for me in bold relief the ?muted? terror-of-the-night such children are heir to, their wispy yet unexpressed suspicions of significant-others, and their necessary dependencies on adults who, often not comprehending the nuances involved, believe/hope that trotting the kid to therapy is the primary answer.

    Perhaps what impressed me most in your memoir is its raw honesty. Your silent desire of a validating word from your grandparents is heartbreaking. How important and comforting it would have been to simply open the subject and allow you, or encourage you, to voice your thoughts.

    I do understand (and admire) the forebearance of your mother and Nanette and your grandparents not to poison the air with their own suspicions of Sherry. Yet, a discussion might have been a healing agent. But who knows. I certainly see both sides, and can offer nothing except sympathy for you, and all the young victims in similar situations.

    The writer in me could go on and on, but I have fulfilled my purpose here: to let you know that you have made an impact. I was totally disarmed by your writing style and your pursuit of truth and answers and meaning. You weren?t afraid to lay it all out, good and bad, about yourself, your painful transition to adulthood, your tenuous-turned-strong family connections.

    You allowed me into your ?healing process.? That is especially comforting to me because I (like millions of concerned news-consumers nationwide) live in a violent world of Amber-alerts, successful rescues of kidnapped youngsters and other horrific crimes against children. And I always wonder how these children cope with the fallout .

    Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

    Therese M. Hercher
    Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures
    Michigan State University
    235 Bessey Hall
    East Lansing, MI 48824

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