Performing Arts: Dance
March 31, 2019
Ariel Grossman and David Homan, Director/Choreographer and Executive Director/ Composer respectively, showcased their all-female contemporary dance company, Ariel Rivka Dance throughout their three-day 2019 season at Baruch Performing Arts Center. On March 30th, the company was accompanied by Amanda Kirsche presenting In Place of Forgetting and Valerie Green dancing Hinge. Ariel’s choreographic works included the World Premieres of Rhapsody in K, and Mossy (2019), and the returning performances of She (2018) and Ori (2005).

The black box stage was beautifully illuminated by the stage crew, casting just enough light for the violinist and percussionists to brilliantly accompany the dancers -- a favorite aspect of the program for many patrons.

As Ariel explained, Rhapsody in K was inspired by the movement of her 4 1/2-year-old daughter. Accordingly, the emerging artist company of seven female dancers, created a piece based on theme and variations. It included nursery rhymes and an aesthetic approach pertinent to a toddler’s social interaction within dance and play. The live violin conversation magnificently played by Rebecca Cherry highlighted the work with ongoing electronic arrangements that would replay as she progressed within layers of melodic motifs.

Choreographed by Amanda Kirsche, In Place of Forgetting presented three female dancers embracing each other. When the embraced would elusively depart, she would leave the empty shape of her previous pose carved in the negative space around the dancer who had initiated the approach. According to the program, She reflected on the challenge of unattainable goals in child rearing.

Again, the company -- dressed in opaque shades of plum -- developed motifs initiated by standing in a line shaking their clasped hands. This created a rippling effect in their movement vocabulary, repeatedly transitioning to scattered small groups and back into interactive linear formations.

After the brief intermission, Caitlyn Casson and Casie O’Kane interpreted Mossy, which continued reflecting a mother’s perspective of “constant interruption.” Dressed in asymmetrical black garments, the duet evolved through an indirect series of cause and effect, accompanied by Stefania de Kenessey's electronic score .

Valerie Green’s Hinge broke the evening's aesthetic tendency by presenting a group of two men and five women dressed in bronze tones. They drew a series of traveling patterns through clean gestures that assumed a cohesive performance quality. Green’s work was accompanied by Yui Kitamara, performed by Multicultural Sonic Evolution with the live participation of violinist Wanzhen Li, and percussion by Chihiro Shibayama and Samuel Budish.

Ori closed the evening exploring light, as Ariel’s company, dressed in white, restated gestures through interconnected line formations that intersected between the choreographic discourse extrapolated by David Homan’s unique four-cello composition.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Gabriela Estrada

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