Performing Arts: Dance
  Fall For Dance Program #2
October 17, 2021
Fall For Dance Program #2 launched the evening with Stephen Petronio’s 2019 American Landscapes.  The curtain opened with a view of three side-by-side box-type projected images on the backdrop (Robert Longo and Don Cieslik) that changed throughout the work from forest, to moon, airplanes, American flag, Earth, and animals. Petronio’s ensemble work featured nine dancers executing modern/balletic movement vocabulary in Cunninghamesque tightly choreographed quartets, duets, and interchangeable group work, with twisting torsos atop legs of exquisitely performed traveling steps, jumps and leaps.

The dancers were costumed in grey leotards by designer H. Petal. Lighting (Ken Tabachnick), changed from stark black and whites to sepia shades at the end supporting warmth and community as the dancers held hands while performing unison, interdependent partnering.

Next came Sons de L’Ame (2013), translated in English to mean “Sounds of the Soul”, choreography by Stanton Welch, Artistic Director of Houston Ballet. The piece opened with male dancer Connor Walsh on stage, with live pianist Vladimir Rumyantsev eloquently playing Frederic Chopin pieces as Karina Gonzalez enters en pointe. Dressed in matching leotard pants and a halter top that strategically exposed her incredible torso muscles, she seamlessly performed rising and falling movements, jumps and leaps in the air.

Walsh lifted, supported, and shifted his weight and strength throughout to feature her dazzling technique, poise, and virtuosity. At one moment, Gonzalez balances en pointe by the piano, suggesting the love and interdependence between the dancer, the dance, and the music.

The final piece of the night, a definite crowd pleaser, ODEON: Redux (2018) by Ephrat Asherie Dance Company, was accompanied by live musicians, playing guitar, bass, and percussion instruments to Latin-influenced music by Ernesto Nazareth. Six dancers dressed in assorted black costumes and sneakers, performed intricate body percussion claps, stomps, and finger snapping rhythms weaving the movement throughout the stage.

A female duet featuring fast moving footwork with rapid, articulate arm gestures was the highlight of the piece, which ended with the musicians joining the dancers on stage in a final jam session, the audience accompanying them with enthusiastic clapping.

ODEON Redux, playful and beautifully performed by the entire company, was an inspiring, spirited celebration for all who have survived and returned to the proscenium stage and theater after pandemic-induced separation.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Mary Seidman

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