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Flash Review, 4-27: 'Storming Heaven'
Revolutionary Dancing With Silvers

By Peggy H. Cheng
Copyright 2000 Peggy H. Cheng

Last night, Sally Silvers and Dancers premiered "Storming Heaven" at The Kitchen. The splendid ensemble of dancers in "Storming Heaven" took over the stage like an act of nature; at times like waves of rain, each dancer an individual and shapely drop, and sometimes as a whirling flurry of legs, arms, and faces caught in a raging hurricane. The presence and utilization of a strong ensemble proved to be fitting for the theme of revolutions and the small and big dramas which a group in revolution experiences.

The eccentric movement style of Silvers, as noted by many others before, rang true for many reasons, not the least of which was the surprise element of much of the choreography, which was at times physical feat, and at other times quirkiness. The martial gestures, ensemble marching, statuesque poses reminiscent of revolutionary figures, and the occasional breaks into pedestrian fighting, for example, painted a picture of the light and heavy moments in any revolutionary act or desire. And even as the dancers engaged in combative duets, the movement often spoke through its supportive nature, weight being shared and bodies entangled and engaged in touch to create shapes and beautiful moving forms in space. Often times, as in the opening dance where a rotating circle continually fed the center of the space with duets like a revolving door, the choreography created a cinematic effect, zooming the attention in and out, bringing attention to the stage picture as often as to the occasional surprise details in gesture or design.

Also on stage were three giant black paper scrolls, hanging upstage, with the "A to Z" of the piece outlined in white paint lettering as well as half-pillars of white cloth (or paper?) which people disappeared into, emerged from, and through which lights shone. The set pieces were designed by visual artist Antonio Martorell, who also attended to the stage designs and the construction of paper and paint costumes throughout the show.

The piece streams through several revolutions, crossing several geographical borders and at least 100 years in time, thus generating many, many images. Yet I did not mind the constant travelling. The movement carried me, much like what I imagine to be the sensation of joining a revolution. There is certainly revolutionary spirit to be found in a strong ensemble of dancers, armed with witty, sensitive movement and imagination, storming in and taking over a stage. "Storming Heaven" continues through Saturday, with tonight's show including a post-performance discussion. For more information, please visit http://www.thekitchen.org/.

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