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‘Decadere’ is dark but glorious

Decadere. Pretty/ugly. That's how the scene looks when two American and two Latin American dancers (Bethany Formica and Scott McPheeters, Carolina del Hierro and Marcelo Rueda) go into survival mode in the U.S. premiere of Marianela Boan's 2009 piece for her BoanDanz Action Company. In the aftermath of some sort of devastation, the four fight for food, for space, for something to do. They dance, they sing, they hook up.

Decadere. Pretty/ugly. That's how the scene looks when two American and two Latin American dancers (Bethany Formica and Scott McPheeters, Carolina del Hierro and Marcelo Rueda) go into survival mode in the U.S. premiere of Marianela Boan's 2009 piece for her BoanDanz Action Company. In the aftermath of some sort of devastation, the four fight for food, for space, for something to do. They dance, they sing, they hook up.

There are cameras on them at all times and the images are projected on the ceiling and backdrop. The dancers stare into the lenses, make faces, bare their teeth. Formica even moons the camera and gives a peek down her top. In a brutal scene, Rueda is quickly stripped down to nothing and left tied to a table.

But it's not all harsh; the movement is glorious, with yoga balances, gymnastic walkovers, bits of samba, and playful swinging in swivel chairs. McPheeters performs a humorous and joyful solo to "What a Feeling" from Flashdance.

The women contort their bodies under and around a clear-topped table, sometimes hitting that glass ceiling. And in one of the pretty/ugliest scenes of all, Formica is so desperate that she eats her own hand, at once horrified and making light of the situation

Decadere is at times hard to watch. But it's even harder not to.

   - Ellen Dunkel

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