Male Bonding 

Dan Froot and David Dorfman explore male friendships through the unlikely medium of dance.

Their collaborative work began in New York with Froot recovering from a knee injury and playing saxophone in a Dorfman work. Already fans of each other's work, they struck up an immediate relationship which they explored creatively. That first work "became a document of being close, dear friends," Froot says. They continue to explore that theme, despite living on separate coasts and raising newborn children. "We look at the way men compete with each other, which we believe is the flip side of affection," explains Froot. "We look at betrayal, which is the flip side of trust. We're always looking for dichotomies like that.

With "Horn," the earliest of the three works

presented, they were surprised by the initial audience reaction of laughter.

"We thought the audience was laughing us off the stage," says Froot. When they

later realized they had tapped into an area of discomfort, they capitalized

on the idea. "I think we're always looking for humor in what we're doing. Emotional

surgery is a base of our work, but we do it as much to delight ourselves as

our audience."

In "Horn," both men play saxophones, but without

maintaining the polite safe distance customary between musicians. Instead, the

two shirtless, kilt-wearing men slither and pivot off each other. "Job" includes

adrenalized movement, improvised storytelling, assisted by such props as telephones

and a rope that ties them together. Like two businessmen, they wrangle and manipulate,

but the product is friendship, not something that would ever show up on Wall

Street's S and P Index. With the pair in tuxedoes, "Bull" explores the violent

and sensual side of relationships. Rather than awkwardly ignoring signs of affinity,

they blast their private, usually well-guarded thoughts through a bullhorn.

Whereas feminism gave women an opportunity to

explore, challenge and change some aspects of women's roles, breakthroughs of

the strictures for men lag behind. This duet won't be waiting for a mass movement.

This comedically staged friendship offers an example of what's possible. S

Dan Froot and David Dorfman's "Live Sax Acts"

will be at the Grace Street Theatre March 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15. 828-2020


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