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Lang Theatre, Atlas Performing Arts Center
Remaining Performances: Sunday, July 13 at 8:30 PM Saturday, July 19 at 5:00 PM Tuesday, July 22 at 6:00 PM Friday, July 25 at 9:30 PM
They say: Audience Award Winner MOVEIUS mixes pointe shoes, improvisation and electric guitar with Twitter and Rime of the Ancient Mariner to reimagine ballet for the twenty-first century. Anglophiles and Facebook addicts rejoice!
Cara’s Take: I’d like to say from the start that I enjoyed this performance very much. The three pieces which make up the evening are well choreographed and well danced.
I particularly enjoyed the first piece of the evening, The Lorelei, the Albatross, and the Pine Tree which was choreographed by Olivia Sabee and the dancers. The use of music and spoken word, including snippets from Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Coleridge and commentary on Heinrich Heine and Emma Lazarus enhanced the otherworldly feel of the movement. This was the contribution, per the program, of Parallel Octave an “improvising chorus.” There were moments of stillness and near mysticism in the dancing. A couple of technical glitches with both audio and lighting cues presented a problem. There were also a couple of times when the dancers slid on the stage, and, while obviously part of the choreography, the sliding didn’t always seem controlled. In spite of these minor hitches, the piece was thought-provoking and moving.
Viduity, choreographed by Constantine Baecher, had four of the women in dark clothes with deep cut backs and varying sleeve lengths. The choreography emphasized the arms, hands, and backs of the dancers. Too often dance is about facial expression and legs, and it was nice to see other parts of the human anatomy emphasized and glorified by movement. One minor quibble I have is with the use of handkerchief movements: The costumes blended in with the floor and the background which allowed the skin of the back and arms to stand out in contrast. The handkerchiefs were also dark, so the movement, and possibly some of the meaning, was lost.
Lastly, MOVEIUS is … (128), choreographed by Melissa Lineburg, Carrie Denyer, and Shelley Siller, three of the troupe’s dancers, was bright and interesting. I’ll get my only complaint out of the way first: the back projections, which were integral to the story of the dance, occasionally moved too quickly. This created some headaches due to the flicker — my companion mentioned the issue to me as well — and also divided the focus at times. However, the meditation on social media and its impact, both good and bad, on relationships was lovely and contemplative. As with Viduity, the women were the focus and the final segment came across as a paean to female friendship.
See it if: You enjoy thoughtful, classically influenced, contemporary dance.
Skip it if: You prefer more extreme performances.