May 23, 2017
Program A: Ellen Cornfield / Cornfield dance. Program B: Boink!, Lorraine Chapman & Bronwen MacArthur, Ben Munisteri, Deirdre Towers
David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin presented an eclectic array of choreographic works through two programs encompassed under the title Soaking WET, on May 18-21, 2017 at the West End Theatre. Under the title Close-Up, Program A took the viewers through a photographic perspective of a choreographic exploration of a lenses’ zoom. Departing from a wide-angle shot overviewing counter-balanced body sculptures in dynamic stillness against soloist's variations, the audience attention would be channeled through close-up shots focusing on minute gestures.
Accordingly, as the stage illuminated, costume designs by Andreas Brade revealed the detail printed in the unitards or shirt's fabric which included company photos as well as close-ups of each dancer, structural images of bones or organs, and tools such as maritime ropes.
With such detail, the company seamlessly painted the space with ample fluctuating extensions through arabesques, lifts, and port de bras, contrasted with an interplay of shape carving while moving with and around three scenery structures, interjecting pedestrian mime sequences of ordinary tasks such as texting or taking selfies. Close-up stood as a moving collage of dense oil paint over sand, revealing a fully committed vision of creators and interpreters in an aquatic gallery.
Program B consisted of four independent works: Falling, Tin (50), Zemila, and Por La Noche Me Llaman. In this order, Falling revealed a modern dance-mime quartet choreographed by Dylan Baker, Boink!, Tin (50) a brief lyric modern dance duet choreographed by Ben Munisteri; and Zemlia, a choreographic improvisation by Lorraine Chapman and Bronwen MacAruthur exploring Nijinsky’s writings. Program B closed with the world premie`re of Por La Noche Me Llaman, an interdisciplinary contemporary and flamenco dance quartet by choreographer and producer Deirdre Towers.
Inspired by “flamenco’s ‘deep songs’ stemming from experiences of existential doubt,” the choreography responded to the Seguirillas for piano and violin composed by Paul Jared Newman and interpreted by Nelson Ojeda and Brian Ford, respectively. Through five sections (Entrada, Campanas, Escobilla, Saeta and Procesio´n), allusive of the Andalusian Easter processions, two contemporary and two flamenco dancers perambulated through dim-lit avenues, addressing their personal existential statements through weight bound expressive motives, free-flowing classical lines, percussive footwork, or iconic flamenco dance silhouettes.
As the work alleviated from the mournful deep-song departure towards a bright resolution, dance and costumes also progressed from black isolation to unison in group formations, closing with all dancers barefooted, dressed in white flowing skirts adorning the space with air-sweeping sparkling silver-white shawls.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Gabriela Estrada