One of my favorite concerts at the American Dance Festival is NC Dances. For the second year local choreographers were selected and included on the ADF calendar. On Wednesday, June 18 four North Carolina based choreographers performed at Duke’s Reynold’s Industries Theater as part of the almost century old festival known for bringing companies from around the world to our area.
The first work presented was Annatations, choreographed by Gaspard Louis. Louis said in his choreographer’s note that the creation of this sequel to his earlier work, Souke, was an “exploration of the many concepts of afterlife.” It’s a very subtle theme for what to me was simply a dancer’s dance. The movement was varied and dynamic, both athletic and mellow at times. Despite the dynamic movement, there was an emotional monotony or flatness about it that reminded me of Paul Taylor ‘s work.
Pictured below are two shots from Annatations
Leah Wilkes was the choreographer and sole performer in the next piece, entitled Mess. Her work was visually striking with lightening strikes and other effects projected on a screen behind her. The way her body cast shadows on the lights was interesting and added a shadow-puppet whimsy to an otherwise dreary dance. Wilkes says in her choreographer’s note that this dance is about the body’s reaction to the world. It was a melodramatic and alienatingly personal dance that might have been better served as an improvisational exercise and a tool for a stronger new work.
Diego Carrasco Schoch presented A Place Apart next. This beautiful duet was my favorite work of the night. It was an intimate dance to the first movement of Moonlight Sonata that portrayed friendship and trust between two men. Justin Dominic and Wesley McIntyre were graceful and masculine and sincere; They gave a truly incredible performance that brought the friendship to life.
Below are a few shots of this beautiful dance, and I think you should listen to Moonlight Sonata now.
The final choreographer to present work was Renee Aumiller, Acquiring Dawn. Dancers in gray rags laid out lines of soft fluffy snow and their movements throughout the dance scattered the snow. The quiet dance had a post-apocalyptic feeling of isolation throughout and especially at the end with only one dancer left standing in the snow.
Below are a few pictures from Acquiring Dawn
Photos are by Denise Cerniglia