Performing Arts: Dance
June 8, 2015
Saturday evening at BAM marked the end of an era in the dance world, as the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet took to the stage one last time. The 12 year old company, funded solely by Nancy Walton, the Wal-Mark heiress, announced in March that it would close. The news shocked global fans, leaving a contemporary ballet void in New York as well as 15 remarkable dancers without jobs.

Drama and politics aside, the company served up an intimate night of dynamic dancing that threw a punch. Jiri Kylian’s “Indigo Rose” (2013) opened the program. Three men in brightly colored mesh tops share solos and a trio, sashaying across the stage as a wire hangs diagonally from off stage. The men are joined by other dancers as a white curtain is draped along the wire, separating the stage in two halves. Dancers in front of the curtain reflect the shadows created by the dancers behind, in at times comically phrased movements.

Associate choreographer Crystal Pite’s “Ten duets on a Theme of Rescue,”(2008) a piece that has become synonymous with the company’s history, followed. In it, rolling lights dimly illuminate the stage. The movement is eruptive with quiet overtones that soften the winding motion. In a favorite moment, Ida Saki slowly slides her leg forward into a small lunge, reaching her left arm behind her, whilst looking forward. Jon Bond runs behind her, his runs keep him in place only slightly moving forward between every few. He never can quite reach Saki, continuously being thrown back to start again. Symbolism that became very real and timely.

Closing out the program was Jo Stromgren’s “Necessity, Again” (2012). Pieces of paper hang from a clothes line at the back of the stage. The dancers throw them around, with snow like effect. With a little hip shaking and lifts thrown in, “Necessity,” is cute and fun, however didn’t quite fill like a suitable ending.

Just as the crowd began to roar, Alexandra Damiani,artistic director, presented and danced in a special encore. The company members occupy a circle of chairs placed on stage. In a series of progressive movement, the dancers slowly strip down, and began the phrase again adding on a few steps each time. It displayed what Cedar Lake has become known for, fierce and athletic dancing with precise intention and attack. They have created a unique enclave for dance and choreography in New York and their passion will be sorely missed. Based off of their long curtain call, I imagine the impactful reverberations will influence and inspire for years to come.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Bailey Moon

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