IMPRESSIONS OF Kate Weare Company
Celebrating Ten Years of Making Dances at BAM
Venue: BAM Fisher
February 19, 2015
Choreography by Kate Weare
Dancers: Douglas Gillespie, Leslie Kraus, T.J. Spaur, Joseph Hernandez, Natasha Adoriee Johnson, Julian De Leon, Nicole Diaz
Costume Designer: Sarah Cubbage, Astrud Angarita, Brooke Cohen
Lighting Designer: Mike Faba
Leslie Kraus stole the show. Her attack, personality, and precision made me remember the rock n’ horizontal rolls of Louise Lecavalier in the Canadian company La La La Human Steps. She danced with such emotional rawness, that if it weren’t for the pauses, the “still frames” that punctuated the four duets presented, one might think she was improvising. Kraus performed in two duets with her longtime partner Douglas Gillespie: an excerpt from Bridge of Sighs, a 35-minute quartet made in 2008 which the young choreographer Kate Weare described in her program as a “climax in my fascination with percussion and paradox;” and an excerpt from Bright Land, a sixty minute quintet made in 2010 which Weare states, “uses quiet space and emptiness to explore feeling.”
In Bridge of Sighs, Weare brilliantly captures the sparks flying from a woman who pummels her lover; unfazed, he holds her, knowing that he has won her. His steadiness is almost infuriating as he closely watches her useless, but irrepressible flares of protest against fate.
The four duets vividly explore the boundaries of magnetism, the dynamics between surrender and resistance. Hints of Argentine tango appear throughout. Weare playfully expands tango standard moves, such as “enganche” (hooking or wrapping a leg around the other’s leg). What happens when you dance as though the man’s thighs are the floor?
Kraus dances with formidable company, applause due to guest artists Joseph Hernandez and Natasha Adorlee Johnson who appeared courtesy of ODC/Dance. Following the example of many a ballet gala, the crowd-pleasing nature of duets set a tone for a high octane anniversary program.
However, Weare veered from sizzle to, if not fizzle, certainly a comparative calm for the second half of her program. Compelled to explore the more subtle exchanges possible in proximity, Weare tread unfamiliar ground in Unstruck, a trio that premiered that evening. Julian De Leon, Nicole Diaz, and T.J. Spaur quietly slid around the room, while a subliminal refrain of “three’s a crowd’ might have been hummed.