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Dance like an Egyptian

Top photo by PAUL ANTICO,; other two by yours truly.

After you take the elevator up the fifty-one stories, after you take in the galactic view of the four-level interchange in the waiting room, after your designation of Greek or Roman, you follow follow the Heidi Duckler Dance Theater from room to room in a corporate penthouse to watch the madcap antics and musical frissons of Duckler's latest jumble of riffs, this on ancient Egypt: Cleopatra, CEO.  It's like nothing else of recent date; it's like the old Tamara at the Hollywood American Legion Hall early '80s--and part of the trick is the way the audience itself is choreographed, starting with their herding into the lobby of the Paul Hastings Tower at 515 Flower (never have a hundred people been chaperoned by strangers in such an efficient an orderly way, but that's what you expect of superior choreographers).   Room to room, fabric to fabric, and genre to genre, the Duckler troupe provide a spectacle that doth bestride the narrow world like a Colossus.  Everyone from the break-dancing, attache-case toting Senate to the street-fighting Ninjas are excellent, but the star of the show is sultry, tireless, sparkling Johanna Sapakie, late of Cirque du Soleil's most recent Vegas romp, who trounces her role with both ballerina finesse and acrobatic dazzle and flirts with the guys and for the ninety minutes you're watching is no doubt the sexiest beast of the Nile and even of Caesar's vast world.  I've not seen any dance this enjoyable in years, and have been waiting for it forever--it has no analog in recent dance offerings, more parallel to something like Wooster Group.  Did I mention the soprano in the kitchen cupboard? This is what dancing downtown should be, most of all: thrilling, voyeurist, fun to watch.  Shows remaining: today (Saturday), February 18, 2012 - 8PM / Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 7PM / Friday, February 24, 2012 - 8PM / Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 8PM.  I may go again if I can.