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SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Watching a dancer apart from her company is like holding a new leaf in your hand: The individual veins and markings that disintegrate into a blur of green on the tree suddenly stand out in high relief. The solo dancer’s individual phrasing and idiosyncratic gestures become more noticeable, even while her training and experience attach her to a particular group history. Two very strong women dancers, Sharon Mansur and Sara Rudner, will showcase their distinct styles of movement this weekend. Mansur is well known to many in this area as a member of Quiescence, a now-defunct improvisational company once based at Dance Place. Mansur’s combination of physical strength, playful wit, and ease of movement distinguishes her among area performers. In addition to performing Lightfast, a solo piece that explores light, motion, and emotion, Mansur will be joined by local artists in several improvisational small-group dances. Rudner, a longtime Twyla Tharp dancer, will perform Heartbeats (pictured), a solo piece Mikhail Baryshnikov danced a couple of years ago when his White Oak Dance Project was in town. Choreographed by Rudner in collaboration with high-tech artist Christopher Janney, the piece employs a series of body monitors that translate movement and pulse into a percussive soundtrack. Heartbeats derives its strength not from the dancer’s physical virtuosity, or even from the gee-whiz quality of its technological equipment, but from the directness and intensity of its performer—traits that Rudner has in spades. At 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22, and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 23, at Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. $12. (202) 269-1600. (Holly Bass)