Thursday August 2, 2012 - Janusphere Dance Company are presenting Darion Smith's HEART ON A DIRTY PLATFORM at Baruch Performing Arts Center. In the above photo by Rachel Neville, dancers Anne-Sophie Rodriguez and Milan Misko.
Though it might seem unlikely, the New York City subway system is teeming with romantic possibilities. You have only to look at the Craigslist personals under Missed Connections to see how the MTA plays a daily role in hooking New Yorkers up. How many of the ads obtain the desired result? It is hard to say.
In HEART ON A DIRTY PLATFORM, five dancers (Anne-Sophie Rodriguez, Milan Misko, Matt Van Buskirk, MarieLorene Fichaux and Eun Jung Jung) are stuck in the eternal limbo of waiting for a train. Overhead a film shows the anonymous station where trains come and go...but not the train these people are waiting for.
Ms. Rodriguez seems to be a naive, curious young woman writing in her journal. In the opening segment of the piece - which at first seems more like a play without words than a dance - is set to the cacophony of urban conversations: in the midst of a crowd she is alone. Her beating heart appears on the screen as she attempts to connect with the others around her but is thwarted by the unwritten law which prohibits invading other people's personal space. As the techno/industrial score commences, so does the dancing; the platform becomes a fantasy world where the characters reveal themselves.
Matt Van Buskirk's restlessly relentless solo is danced with a briefcase full of money; though he's wearing a suit and tie, elements of breakdance send him plunging to the floor. His cellphone is his constant partner. Eun Jung Jung, enigmatic in her loneliness, becomes a spectral presence in a veil and long train moving slowly thru the space. MarieLorene Fichaux in skin-hugging black leather does a brilliant number with two whips; she thoroughly intimidates Matt Van Buskirk who momentarily strips down to his dancebelt. Milan Misko, long-limbed and spacious in his dancing, is the object of the lovely and vulnerable Anne-Sophie's infatuation; they dance together and a second beating heart appears on the screen: ah, at last, romance seems possible. But Milan picks up his newspaper and resumes his anxious lookout for his incoming train.
HEART ON A DIRTY PLATFORM is a real New York story. It is powered by the individual commitment of the dancers to the characters they portray: a collection of varied personalities brought together for a few minutes in a public space. We never know where these people are headed or what awaits them at their destination. It's a scenario that is played out thousands and thousands of times in Gotham every single day.