NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—On Saturday, March 26, the New Brunswick dance company 10 Hairy Legs held a showcase at Crossroads Theater.
The showcase featured five dancers and works by six separate composers.
Randy James, the company's founder, is always looking out for diverse pieces.
He says he's "often not interested by the end of the nights" when he goes to a show by a single choreographer.
The first piece, "Slapstuck," was choreographed by David Parker and performed by Alex Biegelson and Kyle Marshall.
This dance was a highly entertaining opening.
Two dancers wearing all-Velcro outfits attach to each other and break, replacing music with the rhythm of Velcro ripping, stomping, and tapping.
The second piece, "St. Petersburg Waltz," was choreographed by Seán Curran and performed by Robert Mark Burke.
The solo was once described in the Boston Herald as "deeply expressive."
I would echo that sentiment. Burke's formal dress, earnest expression, and fluid motions, paired with the piano music and a shifting wall of blue, then red, then purple light made for a striking performance.
"Bath Tub Trio for Three Men" by Cleo Mack was performed by Biegelson, Marshall, and Nicholas Sciscione.
10 Hairy Legs is the only company to perform this piece with an all-male ensemble.
It is a striking piece. The three men move suddenly and fluidly, often as one unit.
It is fascinating to watch all the ways the three dancers interact during the performance.
Claire Porter choreographed and wrote "Interview," the fourth piece, performed by Tony Bordonaro.
It may not be often you hear a dance described as "funny," but "Interview" would be it. In it, Bordonaro is interviewing for a job; it is very clearly a narrative. He monologues throughout the solo, making puns and utilizing props in an almost slapsticky way. The audience was laughing throughout.
The penultimate piece was entitled "Rook." James choreographed it and Sciscione performed it.
"Choreographing is very hard for me," says James. "Often other solos are very self-indulgent. You sit there like, 'Why don't you just go to therapy?'"
He points out that "rook" is both a bird and a chess piece, although the dance is more bird-like.
The most interesting part of "Rook," for me, was the costume design. Sciscione wore a black leotard with nude panels cut out of the sides, streamlining his appearance against the black background.
The final piece, "Trouble Will Find Me" by Doug Elkins, was performed by Bigelson, Marshall, Shawn Brush, Burke, and William Tomaskovic.
It was a lively piece, set to music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a Pakistani composer.
I would go so far as to call it playful; two of the dancers at some point simulate a schoolyard fight.
"Trouble" was a high-energy piece that highlighted the talent of five dancers. It was a great ending to a really engaging showcase.