New York Times Art in Review

March 30, 2007
Holland Cotter

The artist A. L. Steiner and the female dance duo Robbinschilds have collaborated on a short video with a long title, "C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), Part 1." It's playing in Taxter & Spengemann's upstairs gallery, and it's a delight. Like a terpsichorean Thelma and Louise, these dancers are on a journey, progressing through various American landscapes. They begin at a beach, move through futuristic architecture (in Albany I think), then to the desert and into the mountains, ending up in a nighttime mall parking lot.

As they go, they dance, in chorus-line-style pairs, mutually supporting pas de deux and occasional solos, with a fair amount of unconventional movement. In one sequence they lie twitching on a highway; in another they flop across sand like beached fish. As if seeking union with nature they rub their faces in the sand and curl up in the roots of trees. The results are often sharp and witty, and sometimes unexpectedly tender: One sequence ends with one woman falling backward, to be cradled in the other's arms.

Thanks to Ms. Steiner's deft, rapid-fire editing, there are frequent, magical changes of bright-colored matching costumes, from orange to lilac to turquoise. The performance as a whole is a kind of choreographed rainbow, with each band dancing its own dance. And they are wonderful dances. You get to the end of the film and want to start over again. Robbinschilds will perform live in the gallery all day tomorrow.

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