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The Joyce Theatre’s Ballet Festival | MOVE: The Company Joshua Beamish & The Chamber Dance Project…

August 12, 2015
Joshua Beamish, MOVE the company. Joshua Beamish (c)David Cooper

Joshua Beamish, MOVE the company. Joshua Beamish (c)David Cooper

The Joyce Theatre’s Ballet Festival (Aug 4th-16th) presents six young companies that are changing the face of ballet. Each of the six companies will be given two nights to present their work. The festival is a follow up of the highly successful Ballet 6.0 from 2013.

Move: The Company Joshua Beamish opened the performance with excerpts from Mr. Beamish’s 2012 work Pierced. There were two sections shown. First was Little Eye which was a solo for Mr. Beamish and then Pierced, a duet for Sterling Baca and Luciana Paris from American Ballet Theater.

From the onset of Mr. Beamish’s solo you become aware of his unique approach to the body in space. He marries elongated moments, a leg’s prolonged extension, an arm extended as if reaching for infinity, with angular forms. His emotionality is written with in the script of his every movement. His does not expose those inner feelings easily though but only allows a brief momentary glimpse into his inner soul.

But it was the performances of Luciana Paris and Sterling Baca that was the highlight of the evening. The duet is an intelligent and creatively crafted work. The work allowed Ms. Paris to explore and express such deep emotion in her movement. With every breath and exquisitely extended limb you felt her presence. This duet was so remarkable that I can recall it in my mind’s eye with such ease. I felt this work so strong that we, the audience, could have  gone home aware that we had just witnessed a sublime moment in time. Bravo to all involved…

I have only experienced one other work by Mr. Beamish and that was his Conditional Sentences, a duet he created and performed with Ms. Whelan as part of  “Restless Creature” Wendy Whelan I was so startled by the duet between Mr. Beamish and Ms. Whelan that I purposefully did not include it my critique of the evening’s performance. I felt I lacked the proper words to do it full justice.

Joshua Beamish is an artist to watch for he is at the forefront in expanding and redefining what is our concept of ballet. I think his work is post-contemporary, so fresh is his vision. I can only say I look forward to more of his work.

Now, about the Chamber Dance Project.  I so wish I had glowing words to share about their performance. Headed by Diane Coburn Bruning and founded in 2000 the Chamber Dance Project is billed as a summer project company, a renaissance organization of dancers, musicians, and choreographers dedicated to redefining the experience of contemporary ballet.

The program featured a live string quartet, six soloist dancers and three acclaimed choreographers. Ms. Bruning, Darrell Grand Moultrie and Jorge Amarante as well as five New York premieres.

The most memorable event of the evening was by violinists Claudia Chudacoff and Chaerim Smith and their performance of Sergei Prokoviev’s Sonata for Two Violins in C Major, Op 56, Movement IV. Both women are Marines and perform with the White House’s United States Marine Band. I am in no way qualified to critic music but I can say that it was a brilliant performance by both women.

Chamber Dance Project, dancers and musicians. Sur. (c)Paul Wegner

Chamber Dance Project, dancers and musicians. Sur. (c)Paul Wegner

The rest of the performances were just ok, except for the string quartet whose talents I felt somewhat wasted for this performance. The dancers were all exception artists so it was not them that weakened the performance but the choreography presented.

As much as I found Joshua Beamish Move: The Company Joshua Beamish  such a delightful memorable experience, sadly there is little, aside from the appearance of Ms. Chudacoff and Ms. Smith, that I found of great interest for the Chamber Dance Project.

 

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