Monkey Business
Wire Monkey swings and leaps its way through a performance at the Center for the Arts in Northampton

by Mary Bagg
Published 7/13/2000


If you'd like to learn to move with ease and grace in the most extreme states of disorientation, or to land, launch, fly or perch, or perhaps to determine the direction of your intention as you move through the air, then a session in "Contact Improvisation and Body-Mind Centering" with Saliq Francis Savage may be in order.

Savage, who calls himself "a mover with advanced kinesthetic awareness," grew up with an affinity for tree-climbing, moving fast and exploring the limits of physical mastery. He teaches classes aimed at empowering "individuals to remember their potential and move it." And he's also the driving force behind Wire Monkey, a newly formed dance company that swings and leaps its way through a performance -- over and under towers of steel scaffolding that conjure both prison and playground

At the Center for the Arts in Northampton this weekend, seven international dancers -- Laurie McLeod, Mark Zemmelman, Doris Resinger, Catherine Musinsky, Ali Essakali and Jennifer Polins -- will execute what, for most of us, appear to be death-defying feats.

The Wire Monkey performance works more like an installation than a traditional dance concert: The audience will get the chance to do a bit of moving themselves -- no, not on the scaffolding, but from different vantage points around it.

July 15-16. Sat., 8:30 p.m., and Sun., 8 p.m., Center for the Arts in Northampton, 17 New South St., Northampton, 536-8059, ext. 3.