Adele Myers and Dancers, who opened their 3-day run in Reynolds Theater on June 30 as the American Dance Festival continues (we are at the mid-point), will reprise Myers’ cheerfully elegant dance about balancing on the uneven parallel bars of fearful anticipation and rewarding risk once more tonight.
Einstein’s Happiest Thought won’t burrow to the bottom of your psyche, but it provides an evening of pleasurable, polished dancing. Its serious considerations do not overwhelm its basic playfulness, but do give the five women ample opportunity to show us their fine warrior poses and handstands along with their frisky strength and grace (there’s skipping!). As was the case with the company’s appearance last year, the dance and the dancing boost the vitality of the viewer.
But the dancing is not all there is. This is a highly designed artwork, from the dancers’ well-fitting gray and red coveralls (Heidi Henderson), to the yellow ladders and lines and the active lighting (Kathy Couch), the hyper-scaled film by Emmanuelle Pickett, and the peculiar music by Josh Quillen. Myers seems to have a penchant for saturated primary colors and uses them effectively to emphasize the bold prowess of her dancers. As we saw last year, Myers makes much use of diagonal line, leaning, and motion across the stage, but here the challenging slope also appears in small and tall ladders and lines drawn through the space with rope. The work includes very subtle exploration of the effects of space and scale on dancer and viewer along with bolder, comic, statements on the topic.
I thought the dance was perhaps just slightly too long, and Myers throws away her opportunity for a powerful ending, instead letting it quietly expire. But nonetheless, Einstein’s Happiest Thought made me happy, too.