Performing Arts: Dance
December 12, 2017
St. Mark’s Church framed two works under Teresa Fellion Dance’s Body Stories. Opening with the world premiere of Rose Walk Green Ice choreographed by Theresa Fellion, six female dancers in the foreground altar drifted in slow motion while patrons were welcomed into the venue. Six audience members were directed to take “immerse seating” in the center of the performance space on stools placed over a stream of a silver linoleum-like surface.

Inadvertently, the performers gathered in a tight standing formation as they vibrated in delicate convulsions interrupted only by sudden broken torso drops or arm extension. As the piece progressed, dancers spilled down the altar into the performance space. They slid through the “immerse seating” into a diffuse free-flow space exploration, call and response, and a combination of contact improvisation dotted with a few slightly out-of-sync duos or trios.

Eventually, the performers directed the immersed audience to rearrange their stools to flank the linoleum silver stream, proceeding to inhabit it as a frozen river through which duets glided dragging each other while the remaining dancers explored four micro-spaces delimited by foldable wooden structures which they inspected, snapped, and reshaped.

During the closing section, the immersed audience was led to sit in a circle in the center of the space, framing the dancer’s reduced dancing arena, with spurts of sequences taken to the periphery. A stained glass-like projection moving transversely across center stage indicated a sense of climax over the diluted piece nurtured by live piano highlights over a predominant monotone synthetic music background.

Contrasting high-energy, contained effort-shape themes, eight strong athletic dancers rolled in a line formation onto the performance space to present Trashed. Choreographed by Winifred Haun in collaboration with Emma Serjeant Performance, a string of short micro compositions in a theme variation pattern exchanged angular gestures, curving spines, and geometrically shaped leaps. Reminiscent of Horton’s modern dance aesthetics, the movements were all combined with risky circus-like acrobatic studies.

Throughout, the gentle rolling progressions, themes dialogued with intrepid colliding embraces. This built up into clusters of dancers climbing over each other swerving into acrobatic over- the - shoulder standing portée statements. In the midst of this tour de force, a gamut of percussion instruments accompanying the cirque themes was interwoven with middle-eastern music adorned with flamenco hand flourishing gestures.

In counterpoint, a central pas de deux diverges from a blues-rock song and strands of comic relief to solos interpreting a series of poems about “clutter." As artistic work, Thrashed had a clear well-rounded discourse, and concise presentation. This was achieved thorough attention to detail in dance performance, lyrics, and costume design, as opposed to the more eclectic clashing aesthetic, extensive investigation, and improvisation which took place during the opening Rose Walk Green Ice. EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Gabriela Estrada

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