Faculty Dance Concert is an emotional triumph
By biconews On 22 Feb, 2000 At 05:00 AM | Categorized As Archives | With 0 Comments

By Katherine Hoff

The audience at Bryn Mawr’s Goodhart Theater witnessed a staggering array of color and sound at the annual Faculty Dance Concert on Feb. 11. Spanning diverse dance and music disciplines, the concert showcased dancers in sleek black track suits and in swirling chiffon skirts dancing with ankle bells and dancing to church bells. Friday night’s performance was, by turns, light hearted, bitter and virtuoso.

An opening swing piece, “Beyond the Sea/Martini Blues,” juxtaposed a couple’s giddy night on the town with a bitterly comic scene from later the same night. In the second piece, “Buffalo,” a female soloist used a table as a partner while grieving over the departure of her man. The final moments of the piece lost some of their irony when an image of a woman committing suicide was too small for the audience to see. Yet, the movement and strong emotion pervading the piece made it a potent work.

“Kathak Dance,” a traditional Indian dance, interspersed fast footwork and dizzying turns with slower sections and sequential movements. A fine articulation of hands and an extensive use of facial expressions were interesting features of the piece, and elements rarely seen in western

dance.

In “Journey,” simple movements accompanied verbal statements, building a powerful and holistic embodiment of the narration. “Journey” captured “the miracle of creation, how nothing becomes something,” said Madeline Cantor, a soloist in the piece and Associate Dance Director at Bryn Mawr.

Through repetition of simple active statements and motions, the piece captured the complexity and beauty of life.

This work was acquired (permission was needed from its original performer that it be included) with the help of the Provost’s Office.

“Endzone,” technically amazing, was also emotionally wrenching in its narration of a group of young girls raped by soldiers. Opening with dancers holding spotlights on each other in an almost underwater-like scene, the dancing progressed along with sounds of a child’s chanting, church bells, opera, violin and the human voice.

Two short flamenco pieces, “Tientos” and “Sevillnas,” were full of skirt flipping, stomping and moving guitar music. “Bee-come, Bee-leave, Bee-ing” set human voices and classical music side by side as the soloist moved her way around the stage. Next, “Impromptu,” a ballet work, captured the emotions of a brief meeting between a man and a woman. “Raymonda” was a technically beautiful rendition of the classic piece and echoed the flamenco from earlier in the program.

The final work on the program was “Impossible Dance.” In this comic work, seated dancers narrated movement that standing dancers simultaneously interpreted into steps. These movements, simple at first, gradually progressed to more and more fantastic feats.

Finally, the dancers became octopi with eight arms, people flying out to the balcony of the theater, and huge parade balloons exploding. The piece came to a close as a silhouetted dancer spun the world around his foot.

The work was created to “capture the feeling of doing the impossible,” said David Brick, one of the three choreographers and dancers in the piece. But the “impossibilities” so beautifully overcome by the dancers during the piece left an enthralled audience with nothing if not a clear sense of possibility. Awesome strength, clever partnering and stagecraft, and exquisite technique made the piece a witty and beautiful dance to watch, and a triumphantly humorous final note to the concert.

Dancers were: Bob Butryn, Eva Brothers, Linda Caruso Haviland, Pallabi Chakravorty, Madeline Cantor, Dawn Carguilo, Emily Hubler, Brenda Kunda, Rainey Lacey, Katie McNamara, Rebecca Sloan, Dolores Luis, Renee Banson, Katie Murphy, Jon Sherman, Laura Katz, David Brick, Amy Smith and Andrew Simonet.

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