"Multimedia collaboration was the name of the game for McCaleb
Teaming up with artist Andrea Bjeldanes and composer Miles Anderson, McCaleb created Zona Rio, a hilarious romp that lampooned cultural contrasts and crossed genders.
made clever use of the melting-pot metaphor, allowing her
gliding designs and cross-cultural images to blur in a seamless flow of movement.
The dancing was a hoot. . .The music mixed a myriad of sounds against a dizzying stream of multiple-language babble, enhancing the feeling of a busy cultural crossroads.
Zona Rio was McCaleb
at her most creative.
"A fanciful, fantastic dance work. . . Zona Rio extends interests that McCaleb
first explored in her startling 1993 'Serpent's Tongue' - the use of dancers' vocals; gender-neutral costuming, the wild, many-layered culture of Tijuana.
video - Nancy McCaleb
"Inspired by Mexican super-diva Dolores del Rio and the Spanish surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, McCaleb
has created a collage of images that float through the rational mind like an interrupted dream.
The pervasive tone, as it often is in McCaleb's
work, is slyly humorous.
"Buddhafields, set to a score of found sounds that McCaleb
recorded in Asia, provided a moving end to a rollicking program.
Alternating languid (and sometimes prayerful) segments with explosive sequences that featured long, fluid lines and risky, airborn movements, McCaleb
offers an engaging meditation on the relationship between the sacred and the profane."
scenic design - Nancy McCaleb
"An Intense border dance, menacing and bubbling with babble, it transforms the contradictions and absurdities of the SanDiego-Tijuana border into dance theater.
created the collage of found sounds as well as the choreography and the ingenious design - two strings of red chili lights strung across the dance space to suggest both the barbed wire of the border fences and a kitschy fiesta.
There's no narrative, just a kaleidoscopic shifting and layering of scenes, most deft, dark and edgy in their humor.
text and voice - Nancy McCaleb
Swamp is the sure winner on the program - a trim company look and an enviable tenaciousness; these dancers really know how to dig in."
- San Francisco Examiner
Swamp is like a collaboration between Martha Graham and Laurie Anderson.
It's a zany zoological soap opera, giddy with postmodern sights, sounds and fertility rites (or is that virility rites?).
Swamp oozes entertainment."
- San Diego Union-Tribune
"The most satisfying collaboration of all these elements came in McCaleb's
visually engrossing premiere, Vivat St. Petersburg, begged a second viewing, right then, for another dose of well-meshed choreography and highflying theatrics.
work tends to occupy a dense spiritual or political context, and it can soar with an inspired marriage of dance and meaning. . .Aelia Laelia Crispis was a duet of grave beauty that radiantly conveyed a medieval riddle of the divine androgyne - a delicious tension between the medieval flavor of the work and something absolutely contemporary and poignant in the dancers' movement... "
High Performance Magazine
"Aelia Laelia Crispis was the most rewarding dance work of the evening.
discovered a stunning contemporary vocabulary for the movement - full of androgynous lifts and exciting couplings."
made a humdinger to close the program.
emotion-packed performance was extremely moving.
own Sister of the Plague, McCaleb
seemed possessed as she
responded in twitchy spasms and frenzied gestures to the dark urgencies of the score.
Nancy McCaleb is a multifaceted artist, who creates the visual and aural accouterments of her dances with as much sensitivity as she does the movement.
- San Diego Union-Tribune
McCaleb is an accomplished actress as well as a talented dancer, and her appealing performance earned a chorus of bravos from the standing-room-only audience.
- Los Angeles Times
McCaleb's choreography was a revelation, with all three pieces inventive, well conceived and beautifully executed.
- The Oregonian
, Portland, Oregon
has made a career creating what Richard Wagner called the "gesamtkunstwerk," the total work of art.
By and large, she has succeeded by being a talented choreographer, poet, composer and anthropologist.