May 23, 2015
A young woman runs away from us into the dark and bounces back, her chest to the ceiling, as though she’d hit her head on something. She does it again, and again. She is not the first one to try that exit and fail.
Smoke flows through La Mama’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, crisscrossed with light-catching wires stretched from floor to ceiling, a memorable set designed by Sabine Dargent, who collaborated well with lighting designer Sarah Jane Shiels.
A tall, thin man stretches a leg forward each time he steps, heel-first; enormous feathers spring from his hips; he passes a stick topped by a round object suggesting a bird’s head to a cellist who plays along with a recorded score.
La Mama Earth and Irish Arts Center united to present the Dublin based Junk Ensemble performing the U.S. premiere of “Dusk Ahead,” choreographed by Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy in collaboration with its performers: Justine Cooper, Miguel do Vale, Ramona Nagabcynski, Ryan O’Neil, Jaiotz Osa. The three-week long festival, La MaMa Moves!, now in its tenth year, and curated by Nicky Paraiso presented “Dusk Ahead."
According to the program, ‘Dusk Ahead’ explores blindness, human attachment and need,” a goal achieved, emotional blindness being central. In the beginning, we see three people blindfolded stumble around in the direction of the occasional, moving bells. In the middle of the program, two men blindfolded, fight and fall, a man jumps horizontally onto a woman who holds him momentarily and then lets him fall. Under the final spotlight, a young woman, blindfolded, stands with only her hands turning slightly, as green paper descends from above.
As cryptic dance theatre, the piece unfolds with a deadpan dedication to what is not clear, perhaps the charm of riddles conjured potently by the late Pina Bausch. “Dusk is the hour between dog and wolf, between domestic and the wild,” notes the program, though we see more of the dog and not enough of the wolf. More wildness, more dancing, more inventive movement, especially since the company are strong movers, would glue the disparate, sometimes truncated, scenes.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers