AUDIENCE REVIEW: Unveiling
October 10, 2019
On October 10 I had the oppurtunity to see one of the highly anticipated Fall For Dance 2019 performances at the New York City Center. I chose to see Program 4 which involved CNDC d'Angers performing Beach Birds, Alicia Graf Mack performing Come Sunday, MADBOOTS DANCE performing FOR US, and Tayeh Dance performing Unveiling, which is the dance that I will reviewing in this post.
I have seen Sonyah Tayeh's work throughout the years by way of the well known show, So You Think You Can Dance. I was always moved by the pure vigor, vulnerability, and fight that she brought out in her dancers both in rehearsals and on stage. Seeing Unveiling reminded me of the excitement that I have always felt watching her peices.
The piece began with live accompaniment by American singer/songwriter Moses Sumney. Sumney stood on a small square platform stage right, as he began to create the music from scratch. He used a device that recorded his sound or beat and kept it playing while he moved on to creating the next sound. Having live music I feel connects the audience more with the dancers and the overall performance on stage, but creating the live music from the beginning on stage is genius!
As the dance progressed the first male dancer,Robbie Fairchild, came on stage behind Sumney on the small square platform. He began dancing around the singer and proceeded to dance in relation to the singer as he moved off of the platform. His movements were isolated in combination with smooth transitions. He as well as the two other dancers within this dance wore neutral (nude) colored spandex shorts and socks along with a neutral grey and nude tank top.
As the music progressed the song changed and the single female dancer, Stella Abrera, walked out stage left. Her beautful lines and sense of gracefulness took the stage. As she began to duet with Fairchild their movements together created an atmosphere of community. Not only were their movements cohesive together, but they also acknowldged the live acompaniment that was onstage; Moses Sumney was not only apart, but was a key part of this dance.
As Moses Sumney sings onstage he walks to the upstage right wing behind his platform. Out comes the third dancer, Gabe Stone Shayer. He powerfully comes out doing a motif that has been done throughout the piece. Shayer enters the stage in a plank position and swiftly pushes himself backwards to the stage with his hands. To me, this was a powerful moment that again pushed the idea of community. As the three danced seamlessly together there was also a small section of choreography that the singer/songwriter did with the dancers!
Overall, I believe this dance was about the experience of community. The way in which the dancers held each other, the way in which they physically communicated with the live accompaniment, and the way in which each dancer was represented in their indivuduality yet embraced by the community onstage was pure beauty. I very much enjoyed this performance, it made me feel connected to the experience of the dancers as well as my fellow audience members and for that I will never forget this piece.