BWW Reviews: Remember the Name LEESAAR THE COMPANY
The booming applause resounded with meaning last Saturday night, as it practically called out welcome to the club. The dance companies in this club are those well-known few that travel the world and perform at highly regarded dance venues and festivals throughout the nation. It is certainly a sign of success to see the New York debut of a company's work at such a prestigious and well-loved dance venue at The Joyce Theater.
LeeSaar's new work, "Grass and Jackals," proved to be a peculiar yet sincere, piece that continually captured the attention of audience members throughout its fifty-five minute duration. It was an engaging performance despite the occasional forced moments that felt out of sync. This is often the danger in the postmodern style that many Israeli and Israeli-American companies are so attracted to. In this sector of the dance world it is an admirable feat to make strange movements a necessity to express the motivation and not simply a trick for the show to illustrate just how post-modern it is. LeeSaar is still working on not giving into this fatal flaw.
The costuming alone was reminiscent of Israeli companies such as the famed Batsheva Dance Company, and even the newer L-E-V. All seven female dancers donned a skin tight black body suit and had striking eyebrows that verged on grotesque and added to their alien appearance. Movement-wise the occasionally otherworldly undulations combined with long intent stares to upbeat popular music were moments of postmodern glory. What exposed the ten years they've spent in New York City was the frequent addition of sweeping, grand leg extensions, mostly in a balletic vocabulary.
LeeSaar is a multi-cultural company with Co-Artistic Directors and Choreographers Lee Sher and Saar Harari hailing from Israel and company members from US Coasts and the Midwest, as well as Taiwan and Korea. They have developed a style that encompasses a number of vocabularies including Gaga, developed by Batsheva Artistic Director Ohad Naharin, but taught in New York by Sher and Harari, among others.