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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Chutzpah Dance Presents: Movement II

Chutzpah Dance Presents: Movement II

Chutzpah Dance

Performance Date:
March 11, 2023

Freeform Review:

“Chutzpah Dance Presents: Movement II” is part of the Spark Theatre Festival curated by Emerging Artists Theatre. Twice a year, Emerging Artists Theatre invites submissions to be curated into this multi-weeks long festival. “Movement II” was curated by Chutzpah Dance performed by both dancers of Chutzpah Dance and guest artists.

The show opened with “Dinnertime” by Chutzpah Dance, choreographed by Erica Isakower in collaboration with the dancers (Caroline Alter, Laura Ardner, Sarah Blake, Joan Liu and Erica Isakower). Isakower tapped while the other dancers had actual conversations about dinner while dancing on stage. It was a fascinating and original way to start the show.

“Bon Vivant”, danced and choreographed by Emmy Wildermuth and Catherine Messina, was a satire for ballet including balletic movement and floorwork to music of famous ballets by Tchaikovsky. The dancers wore black and white, seemingly giving a nod to the black/white swan.

“Blend” choreographed and danced by John Trunifio was a powerful piece that uses contrast in dynamics to portray what seems like inner struggle. 

“Untitled35: the 5 minute Story” by Mason Lee Dance Theater choreographed by Mason Lee and danced by Ajanay Hough and Illya Lench was a duet with the dancers dancing the story to a score of spoken words. It was both serious and funny, having the audience chuckle at times.

“Cooperate” by The Fun Dolls choreographed and danced by Natalie Flynn was fun and playful with repeating motifs in footwork. I am curious as to how the decision was made for it to be a solo to portray cooperation.

“They’re Alive” choreographed by Erica Isakower and performed by Caroline Alter, Laura Ardner, Sarah Blake, and Joan Liu had staccato gestures corresponding to music in a robotic fashion.

“Lavanderia” choreographed and danced by Amelia Rose Estrada had Estrada dance with her laundry basket in a playful manner. Estrada even did a headstand inside the laundry basket and gestured with her feet showing off her impressive balance.

“Tale of a Bitch” choreographed by Sunhi Willa Keller featured dancers (Julia Foti, Sunhi Willa Keller, and Claire Pennington) utilizing Asian fans, first used to hide the dancers’ faces, then used to create shapes. True to the title, the dancers spoke on stage giving the audience a peek of “locker room talk”.

“Traumeri” choreographed and danced by Amanda Lindamood was a ballet piece with beautiful upper body.

“This One’s for the Bridge and Tunnel Bitches“ choreographed by Erica Isakower and danced by Caroline Alter, was a playful solo with Alter jumping and flipping through space as if having fun at a playground like no one’s watching.

“When the Party’s Over” choreographed by Angelica Spilis and danced by Nicle Wilkerson was a beautiful and well-executed lyrical solo.

“As it was” by Extensions Dance Project choreographed by Kaityln Esposito and danced by Cassie Berth, Kaitlyn Esposito, Kristina Kain, Josephine Ann Russo, and Lily Smith, was well-choreographed and rehearsed, definitely one of the more polished pieces during the program.

“Out All Night” choreographed and danced by Amanda Alves had Alves manipulating her hair while dancing. It was an interesting idea that Alves can probably take further in future iterations give she has the impressive skill of braiding her hair while turning and doing various dance moves.

The show ended with “Unowned” by Chutpzah Dance choreographed by Erica Isakower and danced by Caroline Alter, Laura Ardner, Sarah Blake and Joan Liu. The dancers wore hot pink in various styles and danced in canons.

It was a diverse show filled with interesting choreographic ideas. As this was part of the Spark Theatre Festival hosted by Emerging Artists Theatre, I am assuming the majority of the pieces presented were work-in-progress. It’s exciting to anticipate what the polished end product would be.


Xuan Yi

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