Impressions of: Katie Dean and Inimois Dance

Impressions of: Katie Dean and Inimois Dance
Theo Boguszewski

By Theo Boguszewski
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Published on December 7, 2012

IMPRESSIONS of: Katie Dean and Inimois Dance

Performers: Airin Dalton, Megan Harrold, Nadia Tykulsker, Erin Johnson, Caroline Nelson, Jessica Reidy, Danielle Schlauderaff, Lyndsey Vader

Presented by: Center for Performance Research

November 17th, 2012, 8pm

December 7, 2012



Theodora Boguszewski for The Dance Enthusiast


On Saturday November 17th, Katie Dean and Inimois Dance joined forces to present an evening of work that explores modernity and nostalgia. The evening begins with Royal Jelly, a collaboration between Dean, sound artist, Heather Bregman, and designer, Michael Drake.


Royal Jelly. Photography Credits © Michael Drake
 
The dance begins casually, so casually in fact, that we wonder if it has actually started. (Informality is a recurring theme.)
 
The dancers don’t perform so much as engage in a series of every day rituals. In Dean’s choreography, what’s required is not virtuosity, but conviction to truth. Presenting “real” gestures in front of an audience is enough.
 
Nadia Tykulsker squats against a wall, sifting through photos on her iPhone and reciting something indiscernible. It takes us a while to figure out that she is describing her photographs with her cryptic poetry. It is a simple but heart-wrenchingly nostalgic scene. We can’t help but be reminded of looking through old family picture albums.
 

Royal Jelly. Photography Credits © Elisa Woodward

CPR’s white box theater feels like an Apple Store, which is appropriate considering the iPhone's ubiquitous presence in this work. Every dancer has one, and the phones assume various roles: as photo albums, props, and sources of music. Also reflecting modern culture is a line of magazines, pages layered one on top of another and taped to the floor. The bright colors of the magazines and the dancers' costumes, a hodgepodge of designs and hues, provide much-needed contrast to the glaring white walls.
 


Royal Jelly. Photography Credits © Elisa Woodward
 
Royal Jelly’s conclusion is as ambiguous as its beginning - the dancers reappear on stage to bow as upbeat music continues to blare. Is there more to come? We feel as though the piece began before we sat down, and is continuing after lights out.
 
Megan Harrold’s particular interest lies in using text to create movement (this is explained extensively in a pamphlet handed out before the show). She composes using a novel system that links the intervals of the alphabet to specific motions as well as musical notes. Here, movement and music have the same derivation. How unusual that a seemingly prosaic source can inspire emotional subject matter.
 

Now Let Me Be Still by Megan Harrold.

Now Let Me Be Still
, a solo choreographed and performed by Harrold, toys with equilibrium versus instability. Her dark dress against the white background of CPR subtly underscores these points. Accompanied by guitarist Charlie Ruch, Harrold moves like warm molasses, lusciously articulating with her every joint.
 
Harrold’s second piece, a partnership with Treeline Dance Works, is a tribute to the Nashville Public Library, a gathering place for the artistically minded. As a young adult living in Nashville, she’d spent a considerable amount of time there.
 
 
Now Let Me Be Still by Megan Harrold and Treeline Dance Works.

Harrold addresses clichés associated with libraries. Her dancers are costumed in fashionably clean-cut dresses and sport red, thick-rimmed glasses to exemplify nerds. Huge stacks of books line the periphery. I find this clever and amusing, but isn’t Harrold trying to highlight the wonder of her library and not lump it with a stereotype?
 
Throughout the piece, Harrold scribbles mysterious notes that are illuminated and projected in the upper left corner of the stage. Her scribblings are linked to the pamphlet handed out earlier. Nashville Public Library requests that the audience read extensively to find their own conclusions. The intricacies of the performance are intellectually compelling, but perhaps a bit much for most passively inclined audience members.


Now Let Me Be Still by Megan Harrold and Treeline Dance Works.

While Katie Dean and Megan Harrold play around with different methodologies, both artists present moving emotion inspired by the logical, practical world. To see their work together makes for a wholly satisfying evening of dance.
 
The Dance Enthusiast

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