Cindy Marvell & Wendy Osserman

The New York Times

MONDAY, MAY 24, 1993

Wendy Osserman, left, and Cindy Marvell in “Bouncing Back” on Thursday at Bessie Schonberg Theater. PHOTO: TOM BRAZIL

Cindy Marvell & Wendy Osserman

Bessie Schonberg Theater

Cindy Marvell is a fresh-faced young woman who juggles like a poet. Wendy Osserman is an engaging actorand dancer who moves with elfin lightness…

In “Seventh Heaven,” which was set to music by Christine Bard, Ms. Marvell tries to juggle as Ms. Osserman flits and stretches, tugging occasionally at the long rope that binds them. The older Ms. Osserman seems Mama Rose to Ms. Marvell’s Gypsy, until Ms. Marvell addresses the demanding Ms. Osserman as “Perfection.” But there is much more telling material buried in the piece. Ms. Marvell talks of the mad appeal of juggling as she works, in a luminous, touching soliloquy that explains it all.

Among the programs other highlights are “Constructivist,” a mysterious solo choreographed by Ms. Osserman and Debra E. Welinder to music by Outback, and “Lovely Day,” choreographed by Howard Fireheart to a vocal by Fred Astaire. A scrappy, light-hearted bum becomes an integral element in a two-person juggling act “Lovely Day,” performed by Mr. Fireheart, Ms. Marvell and Joshua Weiner. In the solo, a sheet of shimmering blue-green plastic rolled at both ends serves as a hard-edged chrysalis for the dreaming Ms. Welinder.

“Boca Raton,” choreographed and performed by Ms. Osserman to music by Kurt Ofer, offered only fleeting glimpses of Ms. Osserman’s charm. Ms. Marvell’s inventive juggling, so compelling a mix of pragmatism and magic, also came through too briefly in the pieces that completed the program. Phil Sandstrom created the evening’s subtly changing lighting. Ms. Bard and Jim Pugliese were the music directors.

JENNIFER DUNNING