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Review 2, 11-11: Dances with Feathers
Upside-Down and All-Around with Jeremy Nelson
By Beliz Demircioglu
Copyright 2004 Beliz Demircioglu
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NEW YORK -- Jeremy Nelson
filled every second of his company's performance at Danspace Project
at St. Mark's Church this past Sunday with dance for its own sake.
He energized the stage with his mostly non-repetitive movements
and calmed this variety down with the rhythm he created by scattered
pauses, stillness, unison and solo parts throughout.
The evening's opening
work, "SightUnseen," involved a white and grey backdrop of rectangular
patterns. All the other design elements and the movement carried
these patterns a step further. Luis Lara Malvacias's costumes utilized
vertical lines and the movement created patterns in itself and also
in the space structurally.
The piece used seven
performers and the transitions were natural and smooth as Nelson
constantly made different dancers move in unison. In some group
passages the ensemble looked like an amoeba, constantly changing
as it moved. The dancers didn't move in unison or in contact with
each other, but there was definitely a connection between them.
In one segment, as Kathy
Kaufmann's lighting turned from white to green and red Nelson began
a solo that had a calming effect, bringing a soft quality to movements
in which he bent from the stomach down, turning at the same time.
The movements seemed effortless as he traveled through space athletically.
As the piece continued, these qualities were carried over into the
partnering. In the lifts dancers completed each others' lines, becoming
one line, one figure. In some of them the couples seemed to morph
into shapes with great speed.
score incorporated sounds from real life and an ambient rhythm.
Two different environments were created within the music and dance
spaces. The "SightUnseen" actually became the double place that
was created with this separation.
In the evening's second
work, "Bridge of Fools," the dancers seemed to reach unnatural limits
with great ease. In a solo to silence, as Nelson traveled through
the stage with jumps and upside-down movements not even a footstep
was heard. The three dancers, Malvacias, Francis A. Stansky and
Nelson constantly played with different ways of supporting and following
each other, sometimes jumping as if off a cliff, yet with the knowledge
that a colleague would be there to catch them.
a premiere, was set against a Malvacias backdrop of a white curtain
with a huge red feather painted in the middle, with two horizontal
lines and one vertical line of uncommon random characters scrawled
on each side.
This piece involved
linear and sharp movements with extended arm gestures. A touching
image of support involving one dancer catching another by the neck
as she sat down and fell from side to side was a repeating motif.
Nelson developed the idea of support throughout the work as dancers
reached out and supported each other before one would collapse.
Sometimes instead of offering support, the partner created another
layer by echoing the movement of the falling dancer, even to collapsing
David Watson's score
progressed through different sounds, including those of pouring
water and people in a gym. When the echoing sound of a squash ball
was heard it opened up the space. Nelson also incorporated the idea
of expanding the space as he created multi-fronts and played with
the concept of up and down by repeating a movement 90 degrees sideways
or upside-down. He kept moving the dancers across the stage and
through each other's space.
Aside from the overall
grounded, light and soft quality of movement the conclusion of this
piece was its most outstanding feature. The lights faded as the
performers kept on dancing energetically. The last visible movement
was a jump by the only dancer dressed in red in front of the red
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