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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Alessandra Corona Performing Works
Alessandra Corona Performing Works
October 26, 2019
What an incredible night of dance with Alessandra Corona Performing Works at the Theater at St. Jean, 76th Street & Lexington Avenue, a perfect location for this new and rising company.
The performance opened with Dance Shorts, a series of three short works choreographed by emerging choreographers Maiya Redding, Isaies Santamaria Perez, and artistic director Alessandra Corona.
The first work, "Breaking Through the Generational Curse" explores family dynamics, a family evolving through a long journey, discovering relationships. My eyes were quickly drawn to James Samson, longtime dancer for Paul Taylor (retired from the Company last year after a wonderful career). As the work extends we can see the dancers express jealousy, regret, forgiveness, and love.
Next on the program is "Shina," the story of the tower of Babel. The work starts with a slow motion segment that really draws you in, but ends too soon to fulfill the Medieval version of the story. I'm curious to see this work evolving.
"Labyrinth," choreographed by Alessandra Corona, explores the struggle of two lovers. The piece starts with visuals that remind one of a beautiful Greek island (but is probably depicting Sardinia, where Corona is from), where young people are tangled in a veil, a fate that they cannot escape. The music by Thomas Lentakis is sexy and captivating, and very well interpreted by Maria Vittoria Villa (recipient of last summer's Rising Star Award at the Italian International Dance Festival) with Brian Castillo. The dance concludes with a wonderful duet in which the couple run away looking for one another.
The last work on the program, "W2" by French choreographer Manuel Vignoulle, was my favorite. The ballet explores the evolution of the male/female dynamic in history from different periods and cultures. It shows the transformation of women and of gender. We can feel the reaction of the men to women power, but also how identities have become more fluid. We see women wearing pants and boys wearing skirts. The work has wonderful duets that are very different from one another. Corona and Brian Castillo give us what I would describe as a more conventional couple that captures the audience with its incredible partnering and spinning on the floor. Alessandra is a feather in Brian's arms. Cassandra Orefice and James Johnson contrast that duet with a different style of partnering with Cassandra lifting James multiple times. At one point, the women, all in pants, are behaving like silly men - spitting, showing off their muscles, etc. - which provoked loud laughter in the audience. Last but not less important, the live singing of the soprano Jessica Niles lends even more depth to the evening and was a delightful surprise.
Antonio Pio Fini