new york

“The Way Of How”

brooklyn academy of music

Like the flat-footed takeoff on Zen in its title, The Way of How flirts with meaning but settles for effects. Created in improvisational rehearsals by a collaborative group method, this collage of aural and visual routines consists of a series of discrete performance bits strung out like beads on a string; several of the units are intriguing in themselves, but The Way lacks a strong point of view and/or a structure that would illuminate the “why” behind its collective “how.” Subtitled “a reverie,” the piece intermittently succeeds in conjuring up various vague atmospheres, drifting moods evoked principally by the sonic underpinning of composer Paul Dresher’s meditative, minimalist score. The overall thrust of the action is described in program notes by director George Coates: “The players are introduced to each other and engage in a play of discovery analyzing their relative powers and

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