The umbrella of contemporary dance is really abused by Ardani in presenting these shows. I have seen modern dance and modern ballet, and contemporary dance and contemporary ballet, that I like. This is not that.
Just a bit more in brief:
"Mercy" joins the hundreds of revolutionary works to explore domestic violence through dance. The piece begins with Vasiliev beating Osipova in silence. The music then comes in (which featured live singers, a small blessing) and is operatic in nature and then shifts to Indian Classical music with a local male vocalist. There is a "pas de deux" of the beating, a "solo" for Vasiliev, and then another "pas de deux" with their relationship mended. My boyfriend commented that most of it looked like yoga. I agree.
"Passeo" begins with noise and a lot of posing and preening. Then English traditional music kicks in (Greensleeves, I kid you not). There is a lot of really silly choreography including a sequence where Vasiliev and Osipova crouch down, walk like ducks with their hands folded up their chests like birds (imagine it over the chorus to Greensleeves), and then right themselves and beat their chests. There was a lot of flummoxed laughter around me.
Both of these are a maximum of 10 minutes or so, I believe. Empty stages. Dark lighting.
"Facada" is the only coherent piece. It's explained as being a possible back story to Myrtha from Giselle. There is live music as well in the form of a Portuguese-flavored guitarist (who plays a viola or violin at one point and a drum) who also plays during the preceding intermission. There is also a set (wow!) in the loose form with some potted plants and watering components. Osipova and The Lady in Black (played by Gay Storm) prep for the wedding (Osipova has a little real dancing for about 40 seconds); as Osipova stands with Vasiliev to say the vows, he looks nervous and screams and literally runs out of the auditorium via a side door. Osipova, comforted by Storm, cries buckets of tears (for about 5 minutes, not overestimating this) which are then used to water the plants. All the buckets are hung off of her arms and she walks around the stage despondently in heels multiple times. End scene. Vasiliev enters and does a solo (actual dancing again) and removes his tux so that he is down to his underwear. He struggles with a bow tie and gets a knife to cut if off. Osipova walks on and tells us "Faca in Portuguese means knife." Then she comes back on and puts a new bow tie on him (I guess the Chippendale's look is in?). She has a dream sequence where they are on their honeymoon. She then burns her bridal dress and gets down to her underwear as well (what a surprise). She then squishes or squeezes him to death??? The mode of death is not clear. She and Storm then put a table over Vasiliev's body and Osipova does a dance on top of the table and then walks away. I mean the fact I can even actually write about a plot is a considerable step up from the rest of the show, I do agree. If this were on a different bill, it might be more palatable but it's still not ready for prime time or the ticket prices they are charging for this type of event.