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IMPRESSIONS: Kate Weare Company

IMPRESSIONS: Kate Weare Company
Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram

By Christine Jowers/Follow @cmmjowers on Instagram
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Published on June 30, 2011
Christopher Duggan

Kate Weare Company at The Joyce Theater, part of the Gotham Dance Festival

Kate Weare Company at the Gotham dance festival

Saturday June 10th, 2011 evening show at The Joyce Theater

© Christine Jowers 2011 for The Dance Enthusiast


Lean-To(2009)choreography:Kate Weare,performers: Adrian Clark, Douglas Gillespie, Leslie Kraus,music: Michel Galante, lighting:Brian Jones, costume: Sarah Cubbage set: Kurt Perschke

Garden(World Premiere)choreography:Weare,performers:Weare, Clark, Gillespie,Kraus,lighting:Jones,costume: Cubbage,set: Perschke, music: Automatic Writing by Philip Miller, Crossing the Bridge by Evelyn Glennie, Memo by Philip Miller, Martin menait son porceau composed by Claudin de Sermisy c.1490-1562, arranged and performed by Denys Stephens, renaissance lute, and Jenny Hill mezzo soprano, Per dolor by Accordone, They by Goldmund, Toy Solace by Keeril Makan, Afterglow by Keeril Makan and Saltarello e Piva by Accordone





I appreciate the beauty and intricacy of Kate Weare's movement invention. How it must feel in Lean –To to fall forward leaning into the air when instead of submitting to gravity and smacking to the ground the dancer catches herself in a glorious gooey one –legged stretched out pose. Yummy. With liquidity and precision a trio moves from shape to shape, scenario to scenario, while falling, catching, ebbing and flowing in black and white.  The set piece is a gigantic white leaning triangle, (almost a tent – a lean to) which defines the black space.  The white -skinned dancers wear black. They explore the properties of triangles, echoing their set-- always two points against one. Their bodies create many abstract paintings, and sometimes not so abstract stories.  The intrigue is more intellectual and architectural than visceral. It feels a bit remote. If I saw this piece in a gallery or museum space where I could walk around it, or a more intimate theater than The Joyce maybe I would feel less removed. Still, Leslie Kraus fills every movement sublimely, giving the abstract a deeply personal and human feel.

Garden, reminds me of the surrealist René Magritte. The minimal set, a large tree hanging upside down seemingly suspended in midair on the audiences right, (no wonder intermission was so long) opposed by a slab of trunk downstage to the audiences left, sets up the mysterious joke. I see an English courtly garden reduced and turned on its ear.  Beautiful creatures dance in the wind and vibrate in the darkness of imagined trees. My favorite moment was an Elizabethan romp distilled. The dancers were sprites bouncing in the glade filled with exuberance.  As the light diminished, three dancers congregated around a male figure standing on the slab of trunk. He waved his arm one way and they swayed their upper bodies to follow it; he waved his arm another way and they swayed toward that direction— He seemed a sorcerer of sorts?  I will tell you something odd; I wished this dancer used more of his core or center in those final actions. I kept thinking that if he did, those simple arms of his and their effect on the rest of the performers would seem even more powerful. Martha Graham called it a "contraction" but in other forms it can simply be called an awareness and engagement with your center. It doesn’t need to be a humongous overtly dramatic gesture, sometimes it is simple a thought. But, oh, that that simple thought can make the hair on the back your neck rise up.

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