Dance Review | 'No Where'
A Triangle Most Irregular

Published: February 24, 2007

The three women in “No Where” start the performance standing still.

They stay that way for a long time.

Long enough for you to take in the pink, mottled skin on their bare legs, the dirt smears on Alli Ruszkowski’s limp white T-shirt and the rips in Maria Parshina’s and Tara O’Con’s ratty tank tops. Long enough to hope, perversely, that they might stay that way for the duration, their triangle formation serving as the only link to geometry — in mischievous defiance of advance publicity hyping the fact that Megan V. Sprenger used Pascal’s Triangle to structure the dance.

They do eventually move, but not too much, and it would take a finer mathematical mind than mine to explicate meaningfully the geometric underpinnings of “No Where.” Suffice it to say that working with a mathematician does not make a dance stand out from the numerous contemporary works on view at any given night in this city.

What does make the work stand out, so to speak, is its stubborn insistence on starting no where, and staying there. Using hanging sheets of what appears to be plywood, backed by two walls of semitransparent material through which lights occasionally shine, the scenic designer Brad Kisicki has created a confined world (yes, a triangle) for the performers. It is both striking and antiseptic. You think of office spaces, study halls, waiting rooms; the places in between the action.

Jason Sebastian’s sound collage conjures the passage of time through evocative but mundane noises: crickets, children’s voices, train whistles, rain.

And through it all are these pokerfaced women, working through tightly circumscribed movement sequences. Ms. Ruszkowski, when not occupied staring the audience down, lashes out an arm or sinks slowly to the floor, where she scrapes her fingers on its surface and rises to pick at her nails. Ms. O’Con walks from one side of the triangle to another, curling up her toes and closing her eyes. Ms. Parshina devolves into one writhing collection of tics, scratching at her thigh, crying out and rubbing her cheek into her shoulder.
You would force yourself to look away from these women on the subway. In “No Where,” you get your fill. And then some.

“No Where” runs through Sunday at Performance Space 122, 150 First Avenue, at Ninth Street, East Village, (212) 352-3101 or