Posted on Tue, Jun. 03, 2003

By Merilyn Jackson
For The Philadelphia Inquirer

Tall and pliant, Megan Bridge is not only a compelling dancer.  Her choreography shows keen expressiveness that her body follows, giving Dance Magazine cause to list her as a critic’s pick in 2001.  A member of Group Motion Dance Company, she frequently dances in other’s shows.  Last weekend at Community Education Center, she gave her first full evening of her choreography with several of the area’s other fine dancers — all in collaboration with composer and video artist, Peter Price.

Bridge and Katie McNamara opened as, and in, Kevin and Victor Charming. In white ruffled shirts with overlong floppy sleeves, they took potshots at dance cliches and social affectations in a light, comedic manner. They begin by leaning, supporting, falling, whispering and grimacing. But once David Konyk walked across the stage in nothing but a grungy plaid shirt, the first two purposefully repeated a dance combination in ever-increasing tempos that left them spent on the floor.

Whither the Storm is an expansion of an older, more static dance called Obelisk. Its beautiful new dynamism and ominous music have five men rolling across the stage like tumbleweeds or bending like trees in a strong breeze, blending her original concept with input from the dancers.

Dancing delightfully in Kiss Off, Alison Ferris, Lorin Lyle and Lesya Popil at times became a kind of six-legged dance machine with two robotic dancers propelled and poked by the grinning Popil. In Teletime, one of two very strong dance and technology pieces, Popil walks up to Price’s psychedelic-looking and rapidly changing projected-video images. In white satin gown and gloves, the dancer interacts with them like a live component of a video game. Electronically altered voices repeatedly say “star struck” as the images obliterate her and the set goes dark.

Palate has Bridge dancing against her own black-and-white, preshot video image. In this, another solo called Situation, and in Slide Rule, a duet with Ferris, Bridge duck-walks, arcs her Swan Lake-like arms, or balances on one leg as delicately as a flamingo. She can stop a turn on a dime, but often her dancing is as attenuated and rarefied as a wisp of smoke.