Living Through Watching

by Sara Palmisano

Amid the lights, music, and movement of a dance concert, an audience member begins to see beyond the superficial as these aspects begin to fade away and the person allows what he sees to be transposed to what he feels. Without realizing how, a person becomes lost in the world that a choreographer creates. Those little details blur together as we become engulfed within the emotions that a dance evokes in us. When we give over to these emotions, dances have the ability to give us the opportunity to view the world in a new light by means of another’s movement. Danscore, November 13-15, 2014,was comprised of multiple dances capable of transporting the audience to another world. Artistic Director, Kevin Warner, assembled a unique show that took the audience on a journey through a variety of emotions.

The show opened with Grewingk, choreographed by Mariah Maloney. The dancers wove in and out of one another in a continuous stream that mirrored waves lapping up onto the sand. It evoked a sense of peace and ease. Joy of music was then presented by Khalid Abdul N’Faly Saleem in his original piece entitled Djembekan (It Started With a Pulse). Saleem invited his audience to participate in his song and to participate in the happiness that music can bring us. The beat of his drum lead way to the live accompaniment for Vanessa Van Wormer’s Shade Unfolding (Part I) – Chamber Ballet Brockport’s premier performance. Violinist, Aimee Lillienstein, and cellist, Nadine Sherman, coupled with the beautiful movement, offering a lightness that made one appreciate the joys of watching dance. Then Juanita Suarez showed us that sometimes the greatest understanding we come to is realizing that we lack understanding. At times, the best part of a dance has to do with the feelings we cannot put to words.

This wonder was brought to rest by Rhythms of the Earth choreographed by William Evans. Evans, similar to Saleem, used the music created by the body as the music to the dance. These layered rhythms reminded us of the complicity of life, but that beauty lies within that complexity. Jim Hansen also touches upon this idea in his duet Clash. As his two dancers moved across the space, the audience could feel the complexity of the interplay that two bodies have in even the most minuet ways. These choreographed interactions have a striking resemblance to those we experience in “real life”. The interactions showed a truth about how we live.

This truth translated to Karl Rogers’s backhanded, as well. Rogers created a quirky dance that invited smiles throughout the audience. The show as a whole brought the audience on a journey through a wide variety of movement. It represented dance as an art form, as a means to evoke and relate to the humanness of life. We are all human and, therefore, all have something in common. Dance seeks to manifest these commonalities and allow them to grow so that we can live through the movements of another.

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