American Dance Guild, Joniece Boykins, Photo: Alexander Bryant
American Dance Guild, Joniece Boykins, Photo: Alexander Bryant
Valerie Green Dance Entropy Utopia
Valerie Green Dance Entropy UTOPIA

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Barry: Mamaloshen at Battery Dance Festival

Barry: Mamaloshen at Battery Dance Festival

Asya Zlatina and Dancers
August 14, 2018

Have you ever seen this company/ before?
Tell us a bit about your history with this group/performer?

I have seen the evolution of Asya Zlatina's dances beginning with Storm and more recently, I have been able to see bits and pieces of Barry in rehearsal. The choreography is very different for both pieces, but the way Zlatina lets things happen is inspiring. A variety of moments going into the performance happen on their own during rehearsal. The dancers mterpret what is natural to the body while maintaining a limit that transforms the flow into story telling.

What was your favorite moment(s)? What inspired you?

I like the closeness that happens from what I have seen from sitting in on rehearsals of Barry. The dancers grab each other, and I tune into moments when the choreographer pushes for a hard reality, or when the choreographer asks the dancers for what feels right. I can see how the dancers are moving parts to a complete voluntary atmosphere/ nature.

Describe as plainly and specifically as you can what actually happened during this performance.
We are looking for non-judgmental reporting. No need for complete sentences. Phrases and word lists are fine. YOU CAN DESCRIBE : the artists, their activities, the movement, the qualities of movement, the music, the use of time, the use of space OR anything else you observed.

Every rehearsal with Zlatina is a chance to catch wordage that enters into the dance. The dance artists form a triad moving from a unit in sync to incidental reactionary movements that pushes one another forward. The fall and roll to make it seem like a natural force blew them apart was an essential transitory place in the dance. There were stages where the dance moves from inanimate to fully alive. Rehearsal as I saw it worked the background and, the atmosphere/ nature recalls lost memories hidden in our new experiences. I could imagine a spot light center stage on Harlee Trautman's solo. The center of the stage with a moody lonesome stare. The sequence adds a mental elevation from the dynamic group patterns to a somber focal point. The three dancers, Courtney Conlgotti, Lydia Di Lorio, and  Zlatina who filled in for Susanne Mchugh arm wrestle and the leverage shows a breaking point, they pause, and move on. From previous rehearsals, Zlatina calls specific movements by a given nickname, and the three women seated and resting on the body in front of them took on a whole movement, a cause, and  an effect. That is what I mean when the whole company persists in an atmosphere around Harlee Trautman's solo.

Do any images, colors or feelings pop into your head when you think about this show?

The rehearsal brought out the light and shadows. I could imagine the focus closing in around Trautman's character at center stage. Or the wide angle of the three dancers huddled together but fighting to over shadow one another. Courtney Conigotti's body looses in the struggle as it is being pulled in opposite directions by Zlatina on one said and Truatman on the other. It made me think of a childhood bully, and the life lessons that shapes our adult lives.

Describe any or all of these elements: music, lighting, the venue.
How did they contribute (or not) to your enjoyment of this performance?

I feel as though I entered into a darker phase of  Zlatino's memory based projections of human relations. Innocent violence seems meaningless between sisters, family, and friends but showed a new subliminal message. This inocent quality in the rehearsal of Barry moved dynamically from dancing on the ground and lying one another to a charged room  for an entourage, or political rally.

 

Author: Chuck Schultz

The Dance Enthusiast

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