Oct. 27, 2010 08:27AM EST
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?
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
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.
Michael: Ángel's tricks were VERY impressive
Very Daniel Ulbricht-esque
Katie: You wanted her to attack more
Because she's stunningly gorgeous
with an amazing perfect body
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
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
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
Katie: We should also mention that this was performed by Daniel Proietto
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...
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
Michael: But, I must admit, the DJ was SICK!!!
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
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
Katie: What a way to open the show
It started out very mechanical and angular
and he had everyone's attention
Michael: Keigwin is genius
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
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?
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
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!