BOTTOM LINE: Strong dancing and cool music, but maybe not for the theatre novice.
The new dance piece, ...unwanted, choreographed and directed by Carlos A. Cruz Velázquez is a unique movement-based experience that is one part dance and one part performance art piece. The audience is treated to fifty minutes in which six female dancers explore varying levels of rejection, rebellion, empowerment, and loss all set to the sweet beats of some lightly Latin-inspired house music. The dancers attack the material with great conviction, but at times the audience is left slightly puzzled. Don’t expect a dance that tells a concrete theatrical story as you might see on So You Think You Can Dance. Instead, ...unwanted uses variations on the same movement motifs to tackle how emotions effect not only a single individual, but society and women as a whole.
Most of the time, ...unwanted seems like a performance art instillation that one might find at a museum in which you would peek in for a few minutes and then be on your way. That being said, I did enjoy the piece, but felt like it lacked enough of an emotional arc and variation to sustain my complete interest for the full fifty minutes. If you are a fan of extremely experimental and “downtown” theatre, ...unwanted will be right up your alley. If you are looking for a more “traditional” theatrical experience, ...unwanted might not be the right choice for you. But I guess that is what makes the Fringe Festival great. Go for the exceptionally strong dancers (who are at times underutilized) and the ultra hip house music; you can expect a truly Fringe-tastic experience.
(...Unwanted plays at Fourth Street Theatre, 83 East 4th Street , through August 27, 2011. Remaining performances are Monday, August 15th at 6PM; Friday, August 19th at 2PM; Sunday, August 21st at 6:45PM; Thursday, August 25th at 8PM; and Saturday, August 27th at 8:15PM. Tickets are $15 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more show info visit colectivodoszeta.kk5.org. For more info about FringeNYC visit fringnyc.org.)