A Dancer Who Evokes The Sculptural and Spiritual
Maureen Fleming did amazing things in "After Eros," the suite of solos she presented on Sunday afternoon as an attraction of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Project. She appeared to transform herself into stone. Yet she also seemed to transcend the material world and enter a realm of pure spirit.
Ms. Fleming, an American who has studied the experimental Japanese form known as Butoh, resembled a spare, elegant sculpture by Brancusi as she bent herself into curving shapes in ''The Sphere.'' In ''The Trials of Psyche'' she had the monumentality of a statue by Henry Moore. She whirled a shiny pole until it flashed like the spokes of a wheel in ''Man on a Bicycle.'' She stood on her head with enormous control in ''The Man Standing on His Head.''
But "After Eros" involved more than virtuosity. The suite became a sacred journey, and there were references to the myth of Psyche and Eros in the choreography and in texts by teh playwright David Henry Hwang that were spoken on tape and projected on the walls.
Slowly descending a staircase head downward in "The Stairs," Ms. Fleming suggested that she had just beheld an overpowering vision. And in "The Butterfly" she waved a filmy veil, transforming herself into a butterfly, a creature associated with Psyche in mythology.
The wondrous choreographic metamorphoses were enhanced by Philip Glass and Somei Satoh and lighting by Chris Odo and David Moodey that let Ms. Fleming's body gleam like polished marble. The solos were preceded by "Mandala," a ceremony in which 20 people helped bless the space.