Performing Arts: Dance
August 7, 2015
The first entry in Ballet Festival at the Joyce Theater centered on Joshua Beamish’s MOVE: the company.

In contrast to the duet-filled first half, the second half featured a full -length ensemble piece “Surface Properties” that combines Beamish's choreography with tasty lime costumes by Janie Taylor and animated, geometric visuals by Matt Keegan. At times Keegan’s projected squares, rectangles, and graphs compete with the dancing, which is a shame, because there are some mighty fine American Ballet Theater dancers on stage.

Generally, budding choreographers do better choreographing small-scale solos or duets, because they reference their own bodies. However, Beamish expresses more inventive thinking in his large group presentation. He integrates a touch of Tharp’s carefree attitude into rigorous ballet technique. Flexed feet, torqued heads, hips knocked sideways, and paddled turns spinning round and round are sprinkled throughout. The quick breaks from balletic form to contemporary ticks-- drops and funky torso slinks-- in “Surface Properties” demonstrate a promising direction for Beamish.

Alternatively, one could attach different attributes to each solo and duet in the program’s opening. First comes “resolute,” an athletic solo featuring Joshua Beamish dipping into plunging knee bends and sharp poses. Two attractive dancers, Matthew Dibble and Jose Sebastian mirrored competitive actions, intermittently buffered by affectionate facial cresses or body wraps in “burrow.” Hands grasp in arm wrestling fashion as the two men strut and hit technically sharp marks.

The third duet “Stay” performed by Dimitri Kleioris and Stephanie Williams was the most poignant and lyrical. A single arm repeatedly shoots up to the ceiling as a head press into the other’s chest, simultaneously nuzzling and pushing away the partner. Kleioris and Williams intertwined their bodies in a far less self- conscious manner, tethering themselves to the musical nuances and the audience’s admiration.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

©2001 Eye and Dance and the Arts | All Rights Reserved