Barnard/Columbia dances at New York Live Arts
November 18, 2015
I was transported to a different world on the night of November 21st. I explored fire and water and examined the complexities of art. I watched the dances from the audience while at the same time being completely immersed in the dancers’ movements. How could I possibly be in two different places at once?
I was fortunate enough to be able to witness the final product of what has been months’ worth of hard work for the Barnard/Columbia dancers. The show was a compilation of four dances from four different choreographers: Canonic ¾ Studies originally choreographed by Mark Morris in 1982, but adapted for this performance by Barnard’s Marjorie Folkman, Cosmorama by Caitlin Trainor, Amdo (Water Table, part 7) by Molissa Fenley, and Art is as is, and as it is not by Alexandra Beller in collaboration with the dancers. Each dance featured different dancers, costumes, set and lighting designs, yet seemed to fit together seamlessly.
The first dance to be performed was Fenley’s piece. Seven dancers dressed in blue jumpsuits moved to the gentle music and the soft, blue light. I felt like I was underwater, experiencing the movement of current drawing me closer and closer to the stage. I couldn’t help but notice Fenley’s use of two twin dancers who mirrored each other completely at times, and other times fed off of each other’s movements. The piece was beautiful.
Cosmorama, a dance that, according to Trainor, was inspired by space brought a tingling sensation to my fingertips; the same sensation that the warmth of a fire would bring. The dancers wore loose peach garments that seemed to become closer to the color red as the show progressed, the lighting changed, and their movements became swifter. The dancers were like shooting stars in a dark sky.
The third dance, choreographed by Alexandra Beller in collaboration with the dancers, brought a new meaning to dance in my eyes. Having had mostly classical training, I was completely drawn in by Beller’s use of sounds and dramaturgy in her performance. The dancers were characters of their own. Each had a specific role and each role worked together to create a fascinating piece.
Canonic ¾ Studies was the last dance of the evening. The piece featured live music and completely captivated the audience. The eleven dancers moved, with impeccable technique, in different ways to different piano waltzes.
The show was beautifully organized and featured very talented dancers. I learned about dance that night and directly experienced the power movement. I felt like I was part of the dances and I was moving along with the dancers. Such a mighty feeling; something I definitely want to experience again. I will be back next year.