AUDIENCE REVIEW: "Three for the World": A Refreshing Return to Human Connection
Miriam Barbosa, Javier Dzul, Adrianna Thompson
Three for the World, a program presented by Miriam Barbosa, Javier Dzul, and Adrianna Thompson, gave spectators not just a show, but an experience. While the technical abilities of the dancers and fine production including lighting by Mike Inwood offered exquisite imagery, the audience actually felt an integral part of the evening. While the works did not directly engage audience members in some sort of overtly interactive exchange, the works somehow touched the audience in a deeply emotional way the way one would expect more from an immersive showcase.
Maybe it was because we haven’t seen live dance for so long through the pandemic, but I think it had much to do with the dancers who have returned to their rightful home, the stage. And even more poignantly, with the vision of the choreographers, each who conveyed powerful messages of unity and human relationship through their work.
The evening opened with Thompson’s “Blue Eclipse”, danced by Itzkan Dzul Barbosa and Federico Garcia, in an interplay of call and response seamlessly woven between the two as moon and sun. Dzul Barbosa offered fine lines and surprising maturity supported steadily by Garcia.
The swirling multimedia art offered by Jaco Strydom was used for both of Thompson’s pieces offering balanced enhancement to the movements, and the clever musicality of Roxy Roller brought great life to Thompson’s “Moment to Moment”. The dancers moved swiftly in sections, often a blur of fun whirls. This playful explorative vibe was especially brought to life by dancer Barbara Koch. Conversation in relationship as a theme seemed to purvey the piece through the complex patterns of the dancers.
The next choreographer Miriam Barbosa blended together in “Oneness” masterful aerial arts (co-choreography by Javier Dzul) with her message of unity, the identifiable groundedness of definitively trained modern dancers, and the levity of contemporary dancers, set to a haunting live score by percussionist Stahv Danker . He offered a masterful musical partnering to Barbosa’s movements, especially with his haunting gutteral didgeridoo and pounding rhythmic sequences.
Barbosa’s solos ignited in the audience physicalities from excruciation to ecstasy. The long white circular skirt the dancers rotated clockwise around Barbosa was a lasting image of beauty from this piece, as was Barbosa’s ease of acrobatic range. The corps of dancers brought a sense of unity that felt like a call to action to remember how it was- and can still be-to connect on a deeper level, sorely absent through the pandemic. The theme of inner strength was powerfully conveyed in this piece, from the athleticism of the dancers to the underlying message of perseverance by choreographer Barbosa.
The evening closed with Act II of Javier Dzul’s “The Last Mayan King”, opening with another exquisite aerial duet, this time with Dzul and Dzul Barbosa. Elaborate masks and headdresses entered throughout the excerpts, evoking a larger-than-life feel to the setting. The dynamism of Danielle Marie Fusco drew the eye for the spice she brought to the cumbia section and for her solid partnering phrases, seamless inversions, and performative magnetism throughout the excerpts.
The highlight of the evening was Javier Dzul’s solo sections, where one felt they were offered a peek into the sacredness of Mayan ritualistic dance. Dzul flexes and contorts, tricking us into thinking we are watching a wild animal pace the stage, then climb and drop powerfully from the silks in multiple rolls and ripples. The audience is left awe-struck, but not in a way that evokes separation at the vision of such extreme physical feats, but in line with the rest of the program; in a way that makes them feel rooted in a deep way to the themes of human connection all three choreographers conveyed, and to the very souls of the dancers who gave of themselves to the evening.