Impressions of: NYC10 Dance Initiative Part 2
Presented by: Dixon Place Theater
November 27th, 2013
Featuring the work of INTW and Artists, Nonalee Dance Theater, Robert Mark Dance, Kalamandir Dance Company, Ballet Des Ameriques, Neville Dance Theatre, Zella Dance, Elsco Dance, Abarukas, and The Beat Club
NYC10 is a dance initiative that presents performing opportunities and offers feedback to emerging choreographers. The cumulative show of their season showcases the "audience favorites," which are culled from the highest rated pieces by attendees. A medley of audience choices provides for an entertaining and energetic show.
Abarukas, under the artistic direction of Yoshito Sakuraba, stages one of the evening’s standout pieces with Lullaby to Mr. Adam. The movement — whirling kicks, epic arches, and gravity-defying leaps — displays bold athleticism peppered with striking subtlety. A breathtaking solo by Erin Dillon holds us frozen in our seats; she flips and spins, her fiery red hair providing dynamic contrast to the black marley.
InTW & Artists offers Four Lines, a refreshingly simple and digestible work with choreography by Hsiao-Wei Hsieh and Hsiao-Ting Hsieh. Intricate canons and counterpoints unfold in a mesmerizing kaleidoscope, enhanced by the performers’ tasteful, color-block unitards. Dancer Zachary Tracz executes the piece’s signature movement (a challenging balance with one leg lifted and outstretched) impressively, staying motionless for almost 20 seconds.
Interesting use of props makes Zella Dance's 2x4 memorable. Choreographer Arielle Petruzzella sculpts the stage with four rectangular rugs, which move subtlety beneath the dancers like ships swaying gently on water. The rugs represent self-created boundaries and the opportunity to invite outsiders into our personal spaces.
Several pieces hold more commercial appeal. In Neville Dance Theater's Heads or Tails, two girls in sunglasses circle each other, gliding like Bond Girl Barbie Dolls. Brenda Neville’s offering is cute and entertaining, but the work lacks content. Ballet Des Amerique's Nos ici et d'ailleurs, an exploration of urban living in a constantly plugged-in world, would be great on "So You Think You Can Dance." Carole Alexis’ choreography juxtaposes ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. One female soloist performs a melodramatic solo, which ends in a deep arabesque, a hand pressed on her forehead in a gesture of agony; she mourns the isolation caused by urban life’s incessant movement.
The most successful of the commercial numbers, Elsco Dance's You Are Working, choreographed by Ellenore Scott, is perfectly suited for musical theater. Heavily theatrical, five performers hit their heads on clipboards, bang their faces on desks, and mockingly slit their throats to bemoan their 9-5 existence. Every note of Bach's “Concerto for Two Violins” is mimicked by a campy gesture or facial expression. Perfectly placed late in the program, You Are Working offers a caffeinated boost just as we start to get drowsy.
NYC10’s collection of audience favorites is an interesting study in the opinion of the dance-going public. Because the show is curated by popular judgment, conceptual work appears eliminated in favor of flashy, more accessible pieces. However, the show is well structured and, despite being long, I never find myself disengaged for more than a few minutes.
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Go to NYC10 Initiative