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‘Palpate’ is all about intimacy

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REPERTORY DANCE THEATRE'S LINK PRESENTS "PALPATE," featuring Pamela Geber and Eric Handman, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Friday; additional performance tonight, 7:30 p.m., 355-2787.

Pamela Geber and her husband Eric Handman dance beautifully together.

The duo's independent performance of "Palpate," an evening of repertory, touched on different aspects of relationships, commitment and communication.

Kicking off the night is New York choreographer David Dorfman's "Approaching No Calm," which he created in 1995 for himself. He allowed Geber and Handman, both on staff at the University of Utah's department of modern dance, to take on the work.

The use of clasped hands, some spoken words and up-close-and-personal stances highlighted the work that was also filled with counterpoint and complementary movement.

Handman's "Dark Room" premiere is a dance done in film. Originally created for the U.'s annual Dance for the Camera Workshop, "Dark Room" intersperses Geber's filmed moves with ultrasound images and audio takes of his and Geber's daughter.

The work, which was filmed before their daughter was born, features Geber dancing while eight months pregnant. And, as Handman explained earlier, he filmed his wife and then filmed his wife again, while projecting the earlier take on the wall.

"Dark Room" becomes a moving work of contemplation as Geber's extensions and expressions deal with the idea of becoming a mother. And having Ravel's "Kaddich" as the score only heightens the effect.

Susan Marshall's excerpt from her 1988 work "Interior with Seven Figures" leans on the provocative side as the two dancers experiment with strong, but effortless lifts, kisses and degrees of separation.

After a short pause, the dancing continues with Geber's own provocative "Attic." This piece, which she choreographed in 2003, is a slightly gothic, angst selection that features a woman tormented by memories. The choir work of Arvo Part adds to the haunting aura of this expressive piece.

Wrapping up the evening is Geber's and Handman's 1999 collaboration, "Belle Epoque."

Performed with a live Reynaldo Hahn score provided by pianist January Held and soprano Ruby White, this piece is the perfect wrap-up of the night. Like the other selections, "Belle Epoque" is a study of intimacy and relationships.

Starting off tentatively, the work moves freely as it goes. The joys of togetherness is juxtaposed with the idea of partnership. The two dancers lift each other and support each other in various lunges, leans and spins. And when the lights finally fade, there is a feeling of elation in the air.

A big thank you to the Repertory Dance Theatre LINK program for presenting this performance.

E-mail: scott@desnews.com