Fringe festivals and cryptic head-scratchers often go together like beer and tents. In this case, the bizarre mime/contemporary dance/stage combat show Off 88th Street bears virtually no resemblance to its program description.
Intended as an exploration of interpersonal connections between five technology-challenged strangers post-Hurricane Sandy (huh?), the work features Lisa Baran, Reanna Joseph, Aaron Stringer and Johanna Bundon in a series of disconnected solos and ensembles. Sightlines are, frankly, lousy in this brightly lit venue, so unless you’re in the first row, the dancers all but disappear when rolling about the stage.
Having said all this, if you’re able to divorce yourself from the idea of overall meaning, narrative, concept, theme or purpose, the dancing is often quite good, often athletic and performed with balletic grace. In fact, this show would have fared better simply as a program of abstract choreography.
Billed at 45 minutes long, the show clocks in at 35 minutes. But mercifully, that gives you another 10 minutes back in the beer tent. HH
— Holly Harris