Dance Review: Animato Dance Company; American Movie

Nadine Bommer’s small company Animato has a niche of its own, separate from other contemporary companies.

Dance puppets (photo credit: Eyal Landsman)
Dance puppets
(photo credit: Eyal Landsman)
‘Hot Dance,’ which takes place each July-August, offers a mélange of dance expressions that cover the full spectrum of local dance’s landscape, peaks and cracks included.
Nadine Bommer’s small company Animato has a little niche of its own, separate from other contemporary companies. Bommer produced in recent years several shows that cater to less informed dance audiences, and offered easy to digest story-based situation comedies, using theatrical approach with exaggerated movements, often with props such as wigs, theatrical costumes and more.
American Movie is structured like a double bill. In its first show, the participants are dressed like stuffed dolls and use mechanical, fragmented moves. They simulate, in their own quirky, spasmodic style, the movie going experience, leaning on clichés such as flirting, smooching youngsters, an abundant of silly giggles and a XL bucket of popcorn.
The first act ends without an insight as to what a bunch of puppets, lovely as they are, have to do with American Movies and supplied no enlightened comprehension of that specific cultural phenomenon.
In the second act which follows, explains the program, people come to see a film and their action interprets the conduct of the marionettes.
We’ve all seen puppeteers cleverly interpret human situations, but never the other way around where the dummies lead the actions.
Again, the same performers repeat the basic narrative, using their idiosyncratic moves, which resemble the first act’s movement lexicon though with less edge and more fluidity. Unfortunately, this reverse parody provided the dance with less credible cartoonish quality.
The dancers were quite capable and showed dedication while both acts used choreographic solutions which indicate decent craftsmanship, but the artistic foundation remained on the thin side.