Paint A Tank #2: Military Mambo

Paint A Tank #2: Military Mambo
Rokaya Mikhailenko
AHHA Dance
Presenting at Emotions Dance Studio
Casselberry, FL

They say you need to “sing loud and stuff” to end the war; but this group prefers to dance it away. Drinks were cheap and the crowd small and mostly theater insiders, but the performance was intriguing. Out in the hall, local sculptor and recycling wiz Doug Rhodehamel had a realistic tank sitting on display. He also hung a number of Tank cut outs in the hall to get us in a military mood. Dance mistress Rokaya Mikhailenko assembled a 40-minute program of movement and Avant Gard film, all with a subtle subtext of antiwar themes. The opening number took about ten seconds; a woman in a patriotic skirt marched out as the PA blared “War. HUH! What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHING!” Then silence. A short film followed (“Malfunction”) credited to the “Coby Project.” Here a woman struck poses in front of black and white landscapes over a synthesized sound track. Further numbers explore the plight of Mexican illegal immigrants (Clandestino), a unique music video for The Doors “Texas Radio”, and set of dancers as cats in “Pussy Grabs Back.” The highlight and namesake “Military Mambo” adds some afro Latin jazz courtesy of David Gabriel and we end up with Nikki Penna-Infande reciting the Pollinators Prayer in a piece called “The Bee.” Will the wars stop? Probably not, but you need to start somewhere. My only issue here is I wanted to see more Doug R.’s tank in the show. I’m sure it’s fragile, but like any good defense contractor he probably can make more.

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