It was obvious upon entering the third floor space at Wood Street Galleries that Miguel Chevalier's light installation, "Power Pixels 2013," would be the dominating factor in Gia Cacalano's latest improvisation, "The Frequency of Structure and Flow." Previous Wood Street installations had also served as inspiration for her work, with dance and music giving a response and then synthesizing the three art forms in wonderful and mystical ways.
"Pixels," though, boldly claimed the entire wall opposite the entrance. Monumental in size, striking in color, geometric in principle, it was an extension of Mr. Chevalier's "Pixels" series that began with "Pixels Wave in homage to Auguste Herbin 2012." That borrowed from the variety of simple geometric forms -- circle, triangle, square, semicircle -- in the northern French artist's oeuvre and multiplied them like a virus. Then he set them in random motion, sometimes a small pool of objects bumping around, sometimes a large wave.
Of course Mr. Chevalier must have noticed the similarity between Mr. Herbin's style and the images to be found and executed from a computer keyboard -- play and pause, fast forward and rewind, mathematical symbols, eject. So the Wood Street project was a blend of the two.
The human beings, both dancers and musicians, seemed to respect that and tried to compliment it with their own harmonious additives. Although the installation came equipped with its own sound score by Jocopo Baboni Schilingi, that was disengaged for the evening.
So musician Jeff Berman began it all as he slowly walked into the space toward his vibraphone (David Bernabo would later do an oscillating duet with Jil Stifel, although Michael McDermott elected to remain a constant). He observed, gathering insight from the modulating forms towering on the wall. Others strolled or rolled in along the floor, grabbing that space for their own.
With the artwork so overwhelming, the cast was dressed in low-key outfits that expressed their individuality -- the academic Vincent Cacialano in neutral T-shirt and pants, the spiritual Allie Greene in black, the more direct Ms. Stifel a little more fashionable in top, skinny pant and tennis shoes, the physical Wendell Cooper in a blue onesy and hood reminiscent of a medical worker and Ms. Cacalano herself in a glam red knit two-piece with a dripping hemline. All were virtually monochromatic in their own way, allowing the projected patterns to play onto their bodies.
The audience could quickly latch onto several key elements -- a large "X" on the floor (multiplication?) and manipulating individual body parts, then manipulating each other. Eventually, the movement became more interactive and telling, although it took too long to accomplish Friday night.
Twizzling turns melted to the floor. Then it escalated to a cluster where the dancers urgently jostled for positions, after which Mr. Cooper broke away to the other side for a remarkable outburst of his own. That action emphasized the overall lateral feel to the evening's movement, one that could result in a tennis match feeling. Some members of the audience could be afraid of missing something.
But compartmentalizing is part and parcel of multimedia presentations. There is always that magnetic pull -- to watch the art, to catch the movement or to assimilate a wonderful sound score that the musical trio provided.
Despite that, this most abstract of Ms. Cacalano's improv works still provided a warm human connection in this deep immersion into the ways and means of the arts.