Visual feast at ‘Oasis’

“Oasis” is onstage as part of the New York International Fringe Festival.

From a brutal beating to an elegant parade of models in heels and hijabs, drastic shifts in tone make Nejla Yasemin Yatkin’s “Oasis — Everything you every wanted to know about the Middle East but were afraid to dance” a very strange ride.

Yatkin, raised in Germany, is of Turkish descent; she’s a tall and striking performer trained in many dance styles. With seven performers, she evokes both history and the headlines, showing us lovely women apprehended and violated by bare-chested men.

At one point in the 75-minute program, a supercilious guy forces a young man to grovel before him, serving as furniture for a private tea ceremony. The problem is that the “master” is played by the same dancer (Fadi Khoury) who made love to Yatkin in the opening number and then was brutally tortured, creating confusion for viewers. The “slave,” a gifted Texan named Shay Bates, gets up off the floor and begins a solo punctuated by finger cymbals; his sinuous dancing captures a familiar vision of the Middle East.

Next comes an entertaining fashion show of hijabs accessorized by big hats and towering shoes, the models (both men and women under the veils, but who’s to know?) parading up and down the aisles of the antique theater. Then the cast dances with books. Shadow puppets — a little girl, an old man — comment on the action.

If you don’t mind the admixture of cuteness and terror, of philosophical musing and scenes ripped from the news, alongside beautiful movement and Shamou’s music, you may find “Oasis” an afternoon delight.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.