Fleming dips into a league of her own in ‘Waters’
Maureen Fleming conveys more meaning in one evening than most choreographers put across in an entire career. Her “Waters of Immortality,” presented last night at the Institute of Contemporary Art by CRASHarts, is inspired by Yeats but takes in the whole of the universe.
One might think that dances on grand themes such as birth, death and resurrection would resort to symbol, metaphor and archetype. Fleming’s idiosyncratic and highly disciplined style, however, is completely direct. She doesn’t dance about water. Rather, she becomes water. Her unusual gift of inhabiting the theme is likely a result of her extensive Butoh training in Japan. Her strength and discipline come from her significant ballet training. In the end, however, there is nobody else like her.
The program began with a painstakingly slow solo augmented by live feed video, abstracting her form so that it looked like a rare mushroom.
Later, she spent 20 minutes falling down a stairway, then 20 more rolling through a shallow pool in front of driftwood, and then figuratively giving birth to herself while curled into an egg shape. The program is not entirely understated, however, ending with a grand spectacle involving yards of fabric, set to Philip Glass’ rousing “Dance No. 4.”