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Paul Langland Dance

December 13th, 2002
Dancers Pull Out All the Stops
Tangled Tales
by Deborah Jowitt

The 11th annual Improvisation Festival/NY staked out downtown for two weeks in December, and improv groupies could have a blast. Improvisation has become increasingly a sophisticated form well beyond its cliche identity as an arena in which people playfully parade their shticks. On one evening, at Judson Church, Paul Langland, Wendell Beavers, and Margarita Guergue inhabit a post 9-11 work titled "Rooms and Buildings". The beginning might almost have been choreographed; the men on blocks below the altar platform, and Guergue atop it, strike slow, strange poses that are like drastic responses arrested and cooled. Langland reads from Gertrude Stein's "Rooms", and at the end, they walk wearily about, wearing landmarks like the Chrysler Building as mask-headpieces. But much of what they do and how they do it, alone and together, is spontaneous. The three are fascinating to watch; these agile men are no spring chickens, and their presence is deep and thoughtful. Guergue, droll and quick-footed, provides a fine counterpoint.