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The Silence of Thunder: “Peridance Presents” at The Salvatore Capezio Theater….

November 22, 2014
Peridance Contemporary Dance Co. in the 1st Movement of Igal Perry’s “Thundering Silence.” Photo: Brenda Perez

Peridance Contemporary Dance Co. in the 1st Movement of Igal Perry’s “Thundering Silence.” Photo: Brenda Perez

Not getting word till the last minute about the 2014 Peridance Presents at The Salvatore Capezio Theater (I really need to check my email more often…) I grabbed my coat, my hat and I was off… arriving a short while later, somewhat breathless, but on time. I grabbed a seat, eager to see just what was to be presented, but sadly the first half of the program was not as successful as the second.

Calen J. Kurka, from :pushing progress, presented Collecting Dust. The work was broken in to segments  and the movement for the work was quite athletic. Mr. Kurka likes to take chances in the way he molds the body in space. His choreography is musical and at times even lyrical in its phrasing. He marries odd shapes with energetic movement that is includes difficult turns with leaps in the air to acrobatic floor work.

:pushing progress in Calen Kurka’s “Collecting Dust.” Photo: Brenda Perez

:pushing progress in Calen Kurka’s “Collecting Dust.” Photo: Brenda Perez

The dance is constructed in seven segments/sections, three in silence and three with music and ending with silence. The first section was performed in silence, while in the second and with music Alexander Olivieri and Gildas Lemonnier performed a wonderful duet. It was somewhat intriguing and had a very dramatic as well as memorable start, as the lights came up Mr. Olivieri swipes his arm up in an arc. When his arm reaches the top of his arch the music began. A great beginning…

The pièce de résistance for Mr. Kurka’s Collecting Dust was the duet between Jackie Nowicki and Alexander Olivieri. There was an intrinsic chemistry that was palatable between the two dancers.  Ms. Nowicki, with her torso arched to the side, executed some amazing turns. Mr. Kurka could have presented this duet alone for it’s a strong work and more than able to stand on its own.

Athleticism is the very definition of Mr. Olivieri’s dancing. He performs with such passion and precision he is one to watch. He leaped into the air, somehow he flipped around and when he lands, throws his body into a roll that began at the chest and continued to the toes. The only fault I found with this duet was in the spacing; the dancers were too far apart in relation to one another…I had to choose to watch on or the other.

Calen Kurka’s Collecting Dust, with just a little dusting up could be a very good work. The only thing that stops it from being superb is those sections danced in silence. No matter how hard I tried, and I tried hard, I could not find a purpose. I found them distracting, robbing the work of a certain musicality as well as weakening the dramatic statements that were made by the sections danced with music.

SynthesisDANCE performing Tracie Stanfield’s “She: For where she has been has led us here.” Photo: Brenda Perez

SynthesisDANCE performing Tracie Stanfield’s “She: For where she has been has led us here.” Photo: Brenda Perez

SynthesisDANCE performed Tracie Stanfield’s She: For where she has been has led us here was just as bewildering as the title. Four women would clasp there skirts and then raise them teasingly and quickly pull them down. I have seen the dance so many times in so many variations. The women express rejection, then moments of acceptance but yet still contain angst and moments of unsuredness. I can say that all the women danced wonderfully….so it was not the dancing that was at fault…it was the content. I don’t know, perhaps it’s because I am a guy…but I just did not get this piece at all…

When Igal Perry gets it right, he gets it right. Mr. Perry’s presented the 1st Movement for his new work Thundering Silence. The piece brought to mind the architectural approach to movement that can be found in Balanchine’s leotard ballets. It is in the manner Mr. Perry’s places emphasis on the movement, his focus on the choreography as opposed to a storyline with elaborate costumes and clever lighting.

Peridance Contemporary Dance Co. in the 1st Movement of Igal Perry’s “Thundering Silence.” Photo: Brenda Perez

Peridance Contemporary Dance Co. in the 1st Movement of Igal Perry’s “Thundering Silence.” Photo: Brenda Perez

The work was plotless, just movement that flowed like silk through Vladimir Martynov’s score. Mr. Perry uses the dancers’ bodies in manner that seems almost cubist in approach. The way a leg in the air is bent at ninety degrees , a torso that arches back, forward and/or the side, in how he applies to arms to the overall geometric forms of movement.

Pas de deux flowed into pas de quatres that flowed into pas de six and all masterfully colored with a beautiful lyricism. Igal Perry is a master at his craft; he is an artist unafraid to explore, to stretch himself in how he approaches and uses the body in space. Bravo Mr. Perry, bravo indeed…

Mettin Movement in Sarah Mettin’s “Allegory : Aeon.” Photo: Brenda Perez

Mettin Movement in Sarah Mettin’s “Allegory : Aeon.” Photo: Brenda Perez

My first introduction to Sarah Mettin’s choreography was a performance of In a Roofless Room by the Purchase Dance Company. Since then whenever I see Sarah Mettin and/or Mettin Movement performing I try to be there.

Allegory: Aeon has sense of mystery, a since of the unknown, the sense that something is being sought but no-one knows what. In Ms. Mettin’s choreography the dancers move in a way that I describe as saccadic lyricism. It is a style that I have found unique to Mr. Mettin, it is her saccadic signature of movement, the way the body stops and starts, but oddly never loses its lyricism.

Allegory: Aeon is a mix of the physical and the cerebral. There is a hint of street dance that colors the work, not obvious, but there. The dancers are attired in muted earth tones, never allowing anything to distract the eye from the dance itself.

Isaies Santamaria Perez executes a double pirouette with his arms in fifth position that was flawless. If you have not seen Sarah Mettin and Mettin Movement….do yourself a favor and do so….

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