JODY SPERLING dancer/choreographer of TRAPEZE DISROBING ACT and WASHED UP Series N, August 16 and 19 at 8 pm, August 18 at 3:30 pm. Rating: NNNNN
jody sperling aims to seduce -- and in the process provoke her audience into unexpected thoughts. Trapeze Disrobing Act presents Sperling shimmying out of multi-layered clothing while dangling and twirling from a trapeze.
"It's incredibly addictive, I love being upside down," says the Manhattan-based Sperling, who's studied aerial dance for two years. "The rush of energy from moving through the air without having to support yourself on your feet is thrilling."
The titillation triggered by the piece -- based on a 1901 Edison film -- ultimately yields loftier themes.
"I'm trying to comment on and understand what's behind the impulse to seduce," she says. "It is about voyeurism, but it's more about transformation."
The second solo, Washed Up, is based on The Little Mermaid tale, and allows Sperling to further her explorations of transformation and femininity. She presents the female body as lyrical and sensual, drawing on such disciplines as belly dance and yoga.
Beyond pure seduction, the mermaid piece explores the discomfort inherent in transformation.
"Pain, oh yeah, I can say it -- pain!" she laughs. "There are always two prongs to the experience. It's never just pleasure."
The same could be said for her experience with the Disrobing Act.
"I wear many layers of clothing, it's hot, it's hard to move, and I'm hanging on a trapeze. Part of what I want to show is all that effort." KK