In “FAME”, six performers will strive to reach moments of fame.
Bringing mystery and illusion to the stage, exploring the tension between teasing the audience and exposing our fragility.
Choreography; Lee Sher & Saar Harari
Creating Performers: Jye-Hwei Lin, Hsin-Yi Hsiang, Hyerin Lee, Candice Schnurr, Amy Dressendorfer, Lee Sher, Saar Harari.
Light design : Avi Yona Bueno (Bambi)
Commissioned by Peak Performances @ Montclair State University. Co commissioned by, FuseBox Festival and testPERFORMANCEtest (Austin TX)
With the support of NEFA, National Dance Project, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Map Fund, The Greenwall Foundation and the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
”They look glamorously at home in the company style, striking even when standing still” THE NY TIMES
”fascinating choreography, with exceptional group of performers, unfolds as a collage of images that layer ambition, embarrassment, fear of failure, pain, desire to please, need for love, and more. These people are powerful and delicate, grotesque and gorgeous, and you can’t take your eyes off them” Deborah Jowitt, ARTS JOURNAL
LeeSaar the Company’s Fusebox contribution, FAME, is a thrilling hour of performance: explosive, inquisitive and funny. You won’t want to miss this fierce series of linked dance pieces, all loosely wrapped around the concept of notoriety and our intrinsic desire to be near it. But there’s only one show left–tonight at 8:00PM–so call the babysitter now, and then come back to finish reading this review. I’ll wait.
All set? Good. Anyway, LeeSaar, founded in Israel a dozen years ago by performers Lee Sher and Saar Harari, has assembled seven dancers from five countries for FAME, all of them charismatic presences in addition to skilled dancers. As they execute Sher and Harari’s layered and cyclical choreography, they confront the audience, holding eye contact and leaning over the thin line that separates the Long Center’s bare stage from its risers. At times the small audience seems to be on the other side of a two-way mirror as we watch the dancers pose in their private fantasies; other times we are cameras, watching the fame-hungry reach through the lens and toward us.
In the choreography—full of open hips, repeated gestures, and wonderfully jarring stops short—are inklings of different characters of global infamy: starlets on the casting couch, Marlboro Men, action movie stars, Maneko Neki Luck cats. These are subtle outlines of personae, however, all enigmatically drawn, and as quickly as their tropes can be identified, they disappear (or, in one wonderful moment from company member Hsin-Yi Hsiang, they turn into monkeys).
An athletic raunchiness is also peppered throughout. It is something to watch this explosive and nearly all-female company assume the infantilized poses of our most famous honeypots. This is most clearly demonstrated in the arresting third piece, a black-lace go-go number by company member (and native Texan)Candice Schnurr.
In this solo, Schnurr grinds, swivels, and spreads, just like a million video vixens or perfume ad dollies, but then she breaks her movements with muscular shadowboxes and alarmingly forceful hip-checks. It is a spellbinding and dead-scary three minutes of dance. As she moves, both comely and terrifying, her gaze is fixed upon us the whole time, and as the music fades, she hisses the mantra of FAME like a python: “Look at me.” By