AUDIENCE REVIEW: The ACB Dance Company at the Moving Beauty Series
Company: The ACB Dance Company at the Moving Beauty Series
Performance Date: The Alison Cooke Beatty Dance Company at the Moving Beauty Series in NYC
The ACB Dance Company at the Moving Beauty Series
Lauren Rose Milburn
On the 20th of April, I was lucky enough to see the ACB Dance Company perform for the Moving Beauty Series at the Secret Theatre. As the last company to perform, the
ACB Dance Company entered the stage like a hurricane starting with the piece entitled, ACCUSED (Variation B). The Secret Theatre offered quite the intimate stage experience, which became overwhelmingly apparent during Alison Cook Beatty’s choreography. Sitting in the first row, I could feel the force and intention from every movement radiate off of each dancer’s body. At the end of the aggressively athletic piece, the dancers still did not let up. Their strong, powerful stomps resonated in the form of goose bumps even as the lights went out. Then, Juan Michael Porter II, the Artistic Director of the Series, took some time on stage to allow for a costume change but managed to describe the inspiration for the piece so eloquently. Especially due to the proximity of the Boston Marathon bombings, we must be aware of how we hold each other in society. We cannot simply point fingers and let the weak fall through the cracks. Alison Cook Beatty’s community-conscious choreography on her highly emotive dancers creates a memorable kinesthetic encounter that inevitably transforms into an issue-informed dialogue.
The next time the lights came up, there were two dancers; brightly colored in costume as well as demeanor, what a change! ALLOY, another piece choreographed by Alison Cook Beatty, showcases the pure joy of dance. While I was still contemplating the deep emotions that had welled up from before, I couldn’t help but smile. Once again, the dancers exuded a pure emotional content (this time blissful) that could not be ignored. In fact, I would go as far to say that it was infectious.
The final piece was the world premiere of HEROIC DEPARTURE, Alison Cook Beatty’s choreography inspired by the great and final adventure of Amelia Earhart. The piece was astounding on so many different levels, I need to take time to mention each, starting with the music. Recently composed by Dylan Mattingly of Bard College, “Atlas of Somewhere on the Way to Howland Island” is dynamically emotional, inspirational, and heartbreakingly beautiful. When paired with Alison Cook Beatty’s choreography however, I was completely transported. Beginning with a video installation and an introspective Amelia (Erin Arbuckle), we gently ease into her world. From then on it is a whirlwind of motion and wonder; whirlwind in the literal sense of course! This occurrence had much to do with the costuming by Zoe Alexandra. Dressed in beautifully handmade and flowing costumes, I could feel the air stir as the dancers rushed by, adding a 4th dimension to the piece. Overall, HEROIC DEPARTURE was a magnificent and fitting tribute to such an extraordinary woman.
During these three pieces at the Moving Beauty Series, The ACB Dance Company exhibited a wide range of skilled and beautiful dancing with an incredibly diverse emotional capability. Alison Cook Beatty’s choreography and dancers left me disorientated and breathless when all the while I was simply sitting and watching with eager eyes.