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The Iron Factory Yields to Tori Lawrence + Co. and allendance
Photo: Lora Allen

The Iron Factory Yields to Tori Lawrence + Co. and allendance

by Becca Weber

Brushing back hair. Stringed instruments. Momentous lifts. Placing and replacing of bodies. Instant transitions between sustained and staccato movement. These were shared elements in a FringeArts festival bill in Fishtown-Kensington featuring allendance and Tori Lawrence + Co., with live music by Bing & Ruth and Peter Adams.
The evening opened with an abbreviated version of Lawrence’s Holding Place, pared down from a trio to a duet and altered to fit the rustic, rich space of the Iron Factory. Meredith Lyons and Amy Lynne Barr performed a melancholy duet, coming together, pushing apart, sweeping each other’s hair back—a dance punctuated by lifts, sweeping momentum, and Lawrence’s deft division of space.
The work  introduced the audience to the Iron Factory, and all its components: the office, the studio, and unique features, like coat hooks (on which Lyons’ shoes were hung as she distanced herself from Barr). Rambling, capacious sound from Bing & Ruth accompanied the performance, filling the room as dancers slowly shifted and settled. As the music’s tone and tempo hastened,  so did the dance, with performers crashing into contact, hurried embraces, and suspended lifts--a phrase that quickened with each repetition before the two disappeared as the atmospheric tune resolved.
Next up was allendance’s Miss, a solo in the studio’s small, enclosed office space. Ashley Lippolis captivated audiences as they peered through irregular glass panes, observing her resolutely turning to her four surrounding walls. She grazed her locks and gripped her green wrap skirt. A jerky reach of one arm preceded her peering out, hand on the window pane. She untied her skirt, a long stretch of fabric now flowing from one side. After wrapping it around herself, she unwound, re-wrapped, and flung it into space. Adroit manipulations of fabric circled one thigh, then the other until she was trapped in her own construction. The multiple loopings around her self comprised an indefinite ending.
allendance’s Hidden Engine completed the evening, with Lippolis partnering Megan Stern to Adams’ violin accompaniment. They performed a series of low poses, one atop the other, switching roles as they trundled and yielded to the floor and each other. Small details emerged: an open mouth closed, a wrist flipped.  After a series of lifts, and undulating shifts, a glance to Adams, and a quick series of pushes and slides, the piece ended abruptly with rapid directional shifts and one held musical note.
The evening felt full and cohesive--a series of works with an unarticulated longing for more.  I left, wanting more. 
The Iron Factory Presents: allendance and Tori Lawrence + Co., The Iron Factory, Sept. 7 & 8, 2013. 

By Becca Weber
September 8, 2013

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