Review: Kim Ip/KRIMM'S DANCE PARTY: you don’t deserve us
Updated: Jun 16
More Than We Deserve on a Thursday Afternoon
One of the challenges of a festival format is that not all time slots are equally attractive. Kim Ip/KRIMM”S DANCE PARTY, part of ODC Dance’s State of Play 2022 festival, was assigned the challenging time of 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon. If the artists were disappointed with this placement for their piece, aptly titled you don’t deserve us, one would never know it by the party atmosphere they created.
The venue was bathed in a saturated pink light with blue undertones, dozens of women’s sparkly stiletto and platform shoes floated over the dance floor. As the houselights dimmed, loud pulsing club music filled the space and the two performers entered strutting toward each other on the diagonal. They passed each other center stage with a sassy shimmy that caused the fringe along the plunging necklines of their black form fitting halter jumpsuits to bounce extravagantly. The audience was all in, whooping its encouragement with each diagonal pass as the two performers established their command of the room trying on different saucy prances, amusing themselves and each other.
The diagonal walks bled into club dance moves performed in unison by the duo of choreographer and creator Kim Ip, and Nico Maimon. Kim is petite, Nico tall and curvy, both outfitted in shiny black 6” platform shoes. Their different body types helped represent the spectrum of shapes and sizes of women, all of whom are taught that sexy or sensual looks a certain way. They posed with jutting hips, looking slyly over their shoulders at the audience. They writhed rhythmically on the floor while kicking up their heels behind them suggestively. Just as so much performative sensuality might get exhausting for all, they stopped, remaining seated languidly center stage. The music segued into an audio recording of a woman interviewing another woman. It wasn’t clear whether the voices were those of the performing duo or others, but it didn’t matter as the experiences being discussed are fairly universal for American women. The first question, “when was the last time you felt sexy?”, is followed by the vocalizing of a second woman struggling to remember when she last felt sexy, before eventually admitting she couldn’t recall. The interview continues with a discussion of what is considered sexy, while the dancers keep their movements low key and floor bound allowing the audience to focus on the narrative.
The piece continued with this alternating pattern: sections of sultry, festive, club dance moves performed to high volume pop tunes interspersed with audio recordings of interviews. We hear from various females and one gay older male subject discussing sensuality and sexiness, as we watch our pair lounge in low key “seductive” poses.
Midway through the piece the dancers, making use of the percussiveness of their huge platform shoes to roll-out a video monitor, upon which we are shown an older woman, Ann DiFruscia, in blue negligee and boa, dancing and posing playfully to Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body.” Kim and Nico act as back-up dancers in this coy music video.
you don't deserve us effectively explores desirability, sexiness, and lust and how we display and internalize these qualities. At the conclusion of the presentation choreographer, creator and performer Kip Ip told the exuberant audience the showing was a work-in-progress. She hopes to continue with the interviews and performance development for presentation as a longer work. That is wonderful news, as there is much to celebrate here and yet also room to grow. Might a future version incorporate larger format video? Will Ms. Ip expand the cast? Will she include older dancers? Only time will tell.
Part of ODC State of Play Festival 2022
Performance June 9 3:30 p.m.
ODC Commons Studio B
Reviewed by Jen Norris, June 10 3:00 p.m.; Revised June 11 3:30 p.m.
Choreography: Kim Ip Made in Collaboration with Nico Maimon Dancers: Kim Ip and Nico Maimon Heavy Influences from: Danielle Polanco Music: Ke$ha, David Guetta ft. Akon, Jay Z and Mr. Hudson, probably Beyoncé, Black Eyes Peas, Mariah Carey. Video: Nick Navarro and Kim Ip Editing: Nick Navarro and Kim Ip Mixed by: Kim Ip Lighting Design: GG Torres