Performing Arts: Dance
June 3, 2019
The Theatre at St. Jeans housed Alessandra Corona Performing Works featuring Just Joy, Interaction, and W2! (Women Too!). The Italian founding director and dancer in her company proudly welcomed an intimate audience graced by dance colleagues and friends such as renown choreographer Pedro Ruiz, with whom Corona had partnered years ago in Ballet Hispánico’s company.

Alessandra Corona’s production philosophy fosters the interaction of European and American multidisciplinary artistic initiatives, welcoming dancers and choreographers from both continents to join in the creative process of her repertoire. She actively incorporates voice, song, audiovisuals, and abundant narrative gestures into her dances.

The evening’s opening number restated the potential of dance as a tool for advocacy. Denouncing the status quo perpetuating gender roles through history, Paris Lewis intertwined contemporary choreography, recitatie, and opeartic songs against the Baroque music. As explained by W2!’s choreographer, Manuel Vignoulle, his proposal emphasizes “how women have struggled to accomplish recognition, and how men have been influenced by women’s attitudes.”

Unfortunately, on July’s 2nd performance, the noble intentions of the work were slightly tarnished by technical mishaps in the venue’s lighting logistics and costumes. After an initial moment of silence in the darkness, the red curtain unveiled a quartet of women dressed in black corset tops and plain long black skirts gathered around a tall while armchair. As the choreography evolved, four men dressed in black pants and casual black suits joined the women onstage in a dialogue of gestures and movement phrases. The piece progressed through a series of partnering interactions with the women and men going through a gradual transformation assuming opposite stereotyped gender roles while scattering and reuniting around the white armchair. The work climaxed as Parris climbed up the armchair while the cast lifted it high in the air promenading her through the stage, concluding in a sculptured ensemble composition surrounding the armchair.

The seamless transition between Jost Joy and InnerAction made the two works appear as a longer unit. Both pieces, created by Guido Tuveri and the company, explored the stages of life and relationships “without emotional barriers” respectively. The storyline opened as a male trio mirrored a female. Both engaged in an antagonistic struggle to reach the other group - the leading male dancer held by the firm grasp of his group partners, while the female lead was restricted by her fellow dancers pulling the draping laces in her costume.

Alessandra’s release set in motion a series of choreographic partner encounters flipping through moods and themes created by the music choices and continuous costume changes. As the piece progressed, elegant silhouettes oscillating from playful softness to cold sharpness were traced on the stage against the projection of a series of images from The Rose by award-winning Italian Film Director, Giovanni Coda. It culminated in a pyramidal formation placing Alessandra Corona at the apex.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Gabriela Estrada

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