tba stiles and kelly
Image: PICA

Danielle Kelly’s stuffed hanging fabric sculptures are something like Etsy meets Takashi Murakami, with a twist of Louise Bourgeois. Sitting amongst them today at Blanket Project Space, the afternoon sun streaming in through a wall of windows, it was easy to feel as though I’d wandered into some groovy adult nap-time session.

This sensation was encouraged by “Blanket,” a solo conceived by Kelly and the choreographer Noelle Stiles, featuring dreamy, atmospheric music by Unrecognizable Now with Delaney Kelly (Deelay Ceelay). Stiles is a clear, grounded mover, and there were lovely moments throughout, as when she wended her limbs through Kelly’s lumpen forms, or donned heavy, tassled appendages and sank down on all fours like a big cat.

But “Blanket,” though only 45 minutes, felt too long, staying in the same languid space without developing or deepening its investigation. Business-like transitions, which enabled Stiles to slip into various fabric props, further weakened the work’s spell. It’s not so easy to give gallery-based dance a compelling conceptual arc beyond the initial pleasures of being in an alternative space.

Toward the end, I found myself impatient with this lullaby, and eager for something a bit more bracing. Naps have a shelf life, usually pretty short.

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