Newsday (Nassau Edition), New York (Sat, Apr 23, 1994)
by Janie Berman:
Even stuff that looks easy isn't all that easy, as we demonstrated Thursday night. If it looks easy, like the hustle, the jitterbug or the swim - and the audience isn't allowed to do it themselves - it probably needs something else to make it more interesting to watch. Otherwise it's not just easy; it's boring. And making comedy out of this isn't easy either. Brain surgery, now that's easy.
Vivian Trimble, whose work on the keyboards is helping to propel the four-woman rock band Luscious Jackson straight to the top, choreographed a one-hour show based on popular dance steps and elaborations thereon - and most of it, while beautifully unified, looked too easy.
The opening segment of disco dane-ing featured methodical shimmying by six women in bellbottoms. Then we watched two of them, Freedom Baird and Vera Huff, cracking gum and practicing on their own, to recorded counsel from Deney Terio for, yes, K-Tel International: "With patience and a little practice you'll be disco-dancing with the best." The seriousness of their enterprise was only mildly amusing.
Trimble, who has performed with John Kelly & Company, gave her ensemble of 11 (she doesn't dance) a lot of movement but few deliverable in-sights.
There were many good dancers, however, among them the blonde lookalikes /look-differents Rosane Chamecki and Andrea Lerner; Jonathan Belcher, who works days as resident lighting designer and technical director at DTW; Maureen Ellenhorn, notable for her amplitude of movement and the knowing glances she shot at the audience, and Lisa Powers, whose lanky, languorous solo was inexplicably the closer of the performance.
The logic of the order of the performances proved elusive, and the flashes of satire were offset by uninventive modern dance that looked like it was supposed to be deep.
The partnered dances were, however, thoroughly successful, conveying the heat and social tension satirized in the disco-dance instruction sequences.
As for Luscious Jackson, their rhythms were tight and trim, but unfortunately they sang just one song.