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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Dances for a Variable Population presents "Revival 7: Revelries"

Dances for a Variable Population presents "Revival 7: Revelries"

Dances for a Variable Population

Performance Date:

Freeform Review:

In an era when masking and social distancing are not the frightful necessities that they once were, it can be easy to avoid thinking of the horrors that transpired during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team at Dances for a Variable Population seeks to challenge that notion. With Revival 7: Revelries, DVP honors and celebrates the lives of those we lost over the past three and a half years by forging connections and unity in ways not possible throughout the global shutdown. 

The idea of connection and unity served as the driving force behind the performance. With a multitude of dancers, each performing in small groups, the connection between each other and the different groups remained strong and carried into every aspect of the performance. One notable mention is the choreography, which combined simple motions with layers of sophistication that, along with the powerful music, created a sense of familiarity and intimacy.

Connecting the dancers into a solitary unit was the costume design, allowing everyone to wear a variety of white, black, and gold pieces, each reflecting the dancers’ own stylistic preferences and movement styles. This color scheme created unity while also allowing for expression, anonymity and distinction, togetherness and individuality.

Not only was connection between each of the dancers valued but so, too, was connection with the space around everyone. The Garibaldi Plaza in Washington Square Park poses unique challenges as a performance location, most notably the foot traffic. Through deftly navigating the challenges of a bustling park, DVP was able to create a refreshing feeling of unity, fostering intimate bonds with both audience members who intentionally arrived to watch the performance and with passers-by who became captivated by the music and choreography.

These connections between dancers, audiences, and the surrounding world all served to honor those with whom we had connected who are no longer here. The ultimate purpose of art is to connect with ourselves, the people in our lives, and the world around us, a purpose made so elegantly clear through the Revelries performance. 

Julia Betancourt

Photo Credit:
Jennifer Wagley

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