Gchatting Fall for Dance

Last night, Michael Anne Bailey and I went to see Fall for Dance. The program included KEIGWIN+COMPANY, Corella Ballet, Russell Maliphant Company and Jason Samuels Smith and Friends. We spent the morning gchatting about the performance and thought we'd share our conversation. Enjoy! —Katie Rolnick



Katie Alright, so should we save Keigwin for last?

 

Michael:  Sure


Katie: So, Keigwin opened the show, but we're going to move on to the second piece


Michael:  Which was Corella Ballet


Katie: Soleá, a duet with Ángel and Carmel Corella. Thoughts?


Michael:  I was thrilled when I read that they would be doing a flamenco inspired/infused ballet,

but the idea ended up being much better than the actual piece


Katie: agreed


Michael:  Ángel has the personality and the technique to pull it off, but Carmen was lacking in both areas.


Katie: The choreography started off responding to the music

but then it just became a contest "Anything you can do I can do better..."


Michael:  It felt like a bunch of tricks and "wow" moments without any cohesiveness.


Katie: Which I sort of understand at Fall for Dance,

because the idea is, in part,

to attract new dance audiences and their tricks were certainly impressive


Michael:  If Carmen had danced with more confidence I think I would have liked it better.

It's almost as though she's admitting to the audience that she doesn't feel up to par with her brother.


Katie: Yeah


Michael:  Ángel's tricks were VERY impressive

Very Daniel Ulbricht-esque


Katie: You wanted her to attack more


Michael:  Yes!

Because she's stunningly gorgeous

with an amazing perfect body


Katie: Agreed

Alright, so after the intermission, we saw a solo from Russell Maliphant Company

AfterLight Part 1


Michael:  I loved it!!!


Katie:  I enjoyed it at the time, and like it more in retrospect

It was very psychological

You felt like you were peeking inside this dancer's subconscious


Michael:  I've never seen a collaboration of light design and choreography that moved me like this piece did... yes, it was very psychological


Katie:  The lighting was by Michael Hulls

And the program also has a credit for animation by Jan Urbanowski for ondotzero industries


Michael:  And the way he moved his body was so liquid, it felt like a dream-like haze had come over the entire theater


Katie:  Absolutely


Michael:  I was mesmerized.


Katie:  and as his mind would open up, the lighting, which started out very dark, a small circle of shadows, bled outward


Michael:  It was as if some had poured a glass of water over him and it came spreading, crawling over the stage


Katie:  it was captivating

And his movement was all very languid

slow spinning


Michael:  One of my favorite parts was when the single beam of light shone down center stage, slowly rotating around and around... and he rotated as well, but very discreetly as to make it look like the light was controlling his movements


Katie:  Yeah, that's the part where you felt like he was trapped in his own mind


Michael:  Yes


Katie: We should also mention that this was performed by Daniel Proietto

Alright, sooooo

Jason Samuels Smith and Friends

This was the evening closer

And you know the organizers thought they were going to knock it out of the park

And it certainly was a crowd-pleaser

if only because of the nature of the performance


Michael:  It may have been a crowd-pleaser, but after the first three numbers, I can't say I left "pleased."


Katie:  Yeah, I was really excited about this

I'm a huge tap nerd


Michael:  It was a little bit of a let down for me

With the caliber of the cast members, I was expecting fireworks


Katie: They all performed spectacularly

but the concept was rough


Michael:  I agree

The collaboration between the two genres was so so


Katie:  Why must there be a loooong introduction about some silly future dystopia?

it had nothing to do with the dancing


Michael:  The collaboration often missed the mark except for one 1.5 minute phrase... that was AMAZING


Katie:  Yes, when they interacted


Michael:  The DJ, Sax, tappers and hip hoppers all moving and together...

insane


Katie: it made you see what they could achieve

and far they had to go


Michael:  I just felt like the piece needed some editing and reworking


Katie:  agreed


Michael:  But, I must admit, the DJ was SICK!!!


Katie:  Unreal

I'm going to admit it: I took a DJ workshop when I lived in Chicago


Michael:  ha ha


Katie:  and it may seem difficult

but it's even harder than you can imagine

I was awful


Michael:  Yeah, I have to admit, that when he first started I thought it was all pre-recorded...


Katie:  But nope! It was all live, care of DJ DP One


Michael:  I did appreciate the insane tapping. It was much more impressive to me than the hip hop dancers


Katie: Jason Samuels Smith, Jason Janas, Lee Howard and Derick Grant


Michael:  The clarity of their sounds, the complicated rhythms, the performance... amazing.

Just lacking in concept


Katie: They were all unbelievable, but I was particularly struck by Jason Janas, who I haven't seen perform as much as some of the others


Michael:  Yes...

me too


Katie:  He uses the toe of his tap in a really interesting way, slapping it hard and back

It creates a very different tone


Michael:  From a true tap novice: I loved picking out the steps we featured: "Oh that was a slide!" "Oh that was the Shim Sham!"


Katie:  Ok, Keigwin time?

Can I finally profess my adoration?


Michael:  THE BEST PIECE OF THE NIGHT

easily


Katie:  What a way to open the show

It started out very mechanical and angular

very rigid

and he had everyone's attention


Michael:  Keigwin is genius

yes

The music was very interesting, yet contained

as the movements mirrored it


Katie:  It was Steve Reich, Sextet/Six Marimbas


Michael:  I also really appreciated the casting

so many interesting dancers... and all were featured so well.


Katie: The were students from Juilliard and they were really refined

but had a great, youthful energy


Michael:  Technical, stylized powerhouses


Katie:  OK, so it starts out very structured

and then...


Michael:  BOOM!!


Katie:  haha

yes!


Michael:  The change in music and pace was completely unexpected and totally delightful

I found myself with a huge grin on my face


Katie:  I think I looked over at you at that point

because I knew you had never seen anything by Keigwin before

and I really wanted you to love his work as much as I do


Michael:  You mean my new favorite choreographer?


Katie:  precisely

so, there was this huge shift

the music changed to thumping hip hop

and the dancers started throbbing and grinding

but in a really "dancerly" way


Michael:  I love the way he takes simple pedestrian movements and makes them into these complex traffic patterns


Katie:  His use of stage formations is masterful


Michael:  Then in the midst of the "simple" movements a group of dancers will break out into super-complex, hard hitting choreo


Katie: I loved the back and forth, from rigid to pulsing


Michael:  It never gets boring


Katie:  and how eventually, the two became one


Michael:  yes

And those costumes! I loved how they mirrored the choreo: simple, angular, lady gaga-esque designs with an arm or a panel encrusted with rhinestones. The architecture of the costumes was like the beginning of the piece and the rhinestones were like wildness of the middle

yet they worked together perfectly


Katie:  He talks about those costumes and the piece in his choreographer's collage, so it very satisfying to see them in action

(the Choreo's Collage is in an upcoming issue!)

 

Michael:  Definitely a must see


Katie:  Keigwin FTW


Michael:  I'd say I left feeling very satisfied...

 

Katie:  And that was your first Fall for Dance experience, right?


Michael:  Yes, the first of many to come!

 

Katie:  Awesomeness



(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

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