MeenMoves presents "alternative (f) Acts"
When one attends a dance concert, one does not know what to expect. I must confess at times of being given over to preconceived notions of what will take place. On seeing alternative (f) Acts, which was choreographed by Sameena Mitta, with her dance company Meen Moves, I was in for a transformative journey. With fluid and beautiful dancers, we were treated to a world of reverie and down to earth choreographic phrasing. What was fascinating was watching Limon technique, used in a way that was current, post-modern, conceptual. Sameena Mitta has taken this dance technique and made it her own. It fits as perfectly as an elegant glove on a hand. What can one say, when a live quartet of musicians, (Momenta Quartet) dancers, film all come together is a way that is seamless? With live musicians and an incredible music score by John Adams, in an age of iPods, this can’t be taken for granted. The string quartet was amazing which consisted of two violins, a viola and cello, with music and sounds that reverberated against the walls.
From the film, we heard stories that were honest, and showed the contradiction of who we think we are, and who we really are given any set of challenging circumstances. What is it like to fall in love, and then loss of falling out of love. Beside from the stories from the film, the dancers also act! With movement that is sinewy, graceful and precise. Spirituality, existentialism are heady subjects, but is pulled off with wit and intelligence. A fun fact was that: Jean-Paul Sartre, refused to accept a Nobel Peace Prize!
I also must take my hat off to Sarah Timberlake. Well-designed costumes that took us out of our pedestrian setting, that did not encumber the movement, but flowed with it and was appealing to the eyes. It did not take away from the lines of the dancers, but enhanced it.
Also brilliant lighting by Jay Ryan, which was also integral asset for the choreography. I left the Martha Graham Studio theatre in another world, and was instantly shocked backed to reality while waiting for the bus on 14th Street on a Friday night. One the program was a quote by Simone de Beauvoir……” I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth—and the truth rewarded me.” This was just a very full evening of dance and thought.