Sunday, June 12, 2016

HATCH an evening of new dance works

Marie Brown & Melissa Chisena
Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre, located at the Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, presented a wonderful evening of dance entitled HATCH an evening of new dance works. HATCH represents the results of an eight month development program for emerging choreographers that gives them support with production, professional lighting, sound equipment and professional video recordings of their live work. 7 pieces were performed demonstrating a wide variety of styles and techniques. The first piece, entitled Viewpoint, was choreographed by Lora Allen and danced by Crystal Nicole, Alexis Dispenziere and Ashley Lippolis.  The dancers, all dressed in white, were very lithe and graceful and much of the dance consisted of the dancers folding their bodies over and around each other as if different parts of one whole. The second piece, Terra, was choreographed by Katie Moore and performed by Aurora Jensen, Marina Kec and Sarah Warren.  These three dancers, dressed in black, were almost the antitheses of the performers in the first piece, as all of the dancing was separate and most of it was very upbeat. Passport was choreographed by Belle Alvarez and performed by her as well as Laura Baehr, Allie Linn, Talia Mason, Sarah McWilliams and Rachel Winograd.  Much of this dance was contemporary and the dancers frequently stepped out of their dance routine to speak a phrase or a word, many of them beginning where the previous dancer ended. There was a resolution in which all dancers came together at the end. Primal was choreographed by Marie Brown. She and Melissa Chisena danced to music by Sepultura, a native Brazilian metal band. Marie stated that her movements were inspired by martial arts movements and animals from the Amazon. It appears to be a combination of cautious animals inspecting each other and robots going haywire. Whatever the inspiration, the end result was a lot of fun. Gestures of Longing was choreographed by Sakshi Productions. Based on the poem “The Dream Song of the Deaf Man,” this piece is a  collaboration between Jubil Khan, donia salem and Nandini Sikand who use the gestural vocabulary of odissi dance and American Sign Language. The words which were being signed were projected onto the wall behind the performers so that the audience could better understand the meaning of the poem. Never having been exposed to odissi dance, I found it both beautiful and powerful. Depths of Equality- Part II was choreographed by Mawiyah Dowd and was an attempt to explore racial bias. Performance artists were Amanda Edwards, Isaac Lindy, Brendan Tetsuo, Harlee Trautman and Haylee Warner. The final piece, Unfulfilled, was choreographed by Corey Melancon. Dancers were Rebecca Brodowski, Julee Mahon, Joanna Martin, Brianne Scott and Molly Woytowicz. Despite its title, this was a lovely piece of modern dance. Most of the dancing was in unison, although it ended dramatically with four dancers leaving the stage and the fifth making a flying leap onto her stomach into their arms. Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre will be presenting In The Clearing Sept 9th and 10th in the Christ Church Neighborhood House. This is a work choreographed and directed by artistic director Melissa Cameron. It will feature performances by Kate Abernathy, CrystalNicole, Kathy Kerner, Claire Lutz and Molly Woytowicz.  Open auditions to join the cast will be announced soon.

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