8/7/17 (REPOST) O&A NYC DANCE: Dance Theatre Of Harlem- Troy Game (1985)

cb83686cbb62e5c8be54a6b0395bddbc(Text from Jennifer Dunning- New York Times June 20, 1985)

Robert North’s Troy Game is one of Dance Theater of Harlem’s happiest dances. Set to a stylishly syncopated, Brazilian-flavored score by Bob Downes, Troy Game is a funny and sexy romp with a special wit by the dancers. 

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The flowing suite of athletic solos and group numbers can be looked at as a camp or as street-corner Pilobolusing. But beneath its goofy exterior Troy Game is an innovative blend of acting and movement that looks like the purest of pure dance pieces, as well as fashionable minimalist ritual. Along with the jokes and unvarnished gymnastics like pushups and handstands, the piece is an intricately constructed series of moving friezes. In some, the dancers whip across the stage in exciting diagonals. In others, positions are passed through in dreamy slow motion.

Troy Game (excerpt)

Troy Games is also an enjoyable parade of 13 good-looking male dancers’ bodies adorned by the barest of costumes. And each of the seven soloists has dancing that reveals not only handsome pecs but personality. Donald Williams stalks and prowls like a hunter through the first variation with the same sensuous concentration that he brings so indelibly to the role of Baron Samedi in Geoffrey Holder’s voodoo Dougla, which the company will also perform at the Metropolitan.

Lowell Smith offers yet another star turn in the fifth variation, shifting subtly from straight dance to swaggering character work, and pouncing at space and sailing through it. An explosive energy is expressed in powerful, articulated dancing. That intensity is nicely abated with the sixth variation, a dance for a cowardly ballerino performed amusingly by Keith Saunders. The other variations were well danced by Tyrone Brooks, Darrell Davis and Pierre Lockett Keith Saunders, and the elegant Carld Jonassaint.

 

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