BWW Reviews: EMERGENCE Presented by Eryc Taylor
Presented by Eryc Taylor Dance
By Jennifer Fried
Emergence, presented by Eryc Taylor Dance, showcased four twenty minute works by different New York City based choreographers. The works ranged in style from contemporary modern to contemporary jazz with a concluding surprise preview piece fusing graphic design and movement. The pieces delighted, bored, and even shocked the audience, leaving a mixed result.
DoubleTake Dance's Passage and Perception, choreographed by Ashley Carter and Vanessa Martínez de Baños, was a strong opening to the performance. The piece had varied levels, tempos, and styles of movement to create a sort of moving kaleidoscope of images. The movement resembled the change and succession similar to cells dividing, a fetus growing, or a plant sprouting and then dwindling. The music complemented the music while facilitating the transitions. The dancers athleticism and strong technique shined through, leaving the audience breathless and captivated.
Gierre J. Godley's Coven, performed by Project 44, presented an ensemble of gentlemen who commanded the stage with their fluid, dynamic movement. However, the choreography seemed a bit typical of the contemporary modern idiom that's ubiquitous on the stage right now. The pairing of N.E.R.D.'s Spazz and the liquidy choreography was an exciting risk that may not have been entirely successful.
A Tiempo, choreographed by Jesus Olivera, was a sultry Latin dance performed by a captivating female ensemble. The piece revolved around the dancers' conflict between whether to sport high heels or throw them off in anger, perhaps depicting the conflict of how women express their sexuality. While the theatricality of the dancers drew the audience in, the heels may have been overused and distracted from the movement.
Eryc Taylor's Relax...It's Just Ibiza, made me do anything but relax. The piece was a jazzy number, performed by a company of strong, technical, athletic dancers. But the costumes, corny bathing suits, in combination with repetitive choreography, seemed to be more about floor exercises than a cohesive piece. While I always welcome a jazz piece on the stage, I couldn't help but wonder if this is this sort of choreography that gives the style a bad reputation in the contemporary dance scene. Finally, a preview of Eryc Taylor's upcoming work was a surprise for the audience. It was a mix of lighting-think iTunes visualizer-paired with movement. Taylor mentioned that this was an excerpt of what would be a full-length work, so I'll have to wait until I see the finished composition.
I left the performance with mixed feelings, having seen a magnificent, thoughtful piece by DoubleTake Dance and some odd choreography by Eryc Taylor Dance. I believe the moral of the evening may be to think through the purpose and intention of choreography to find some reason for its creation, whether it is to display technique and athleticism or a concept, emotion, or idea. Without this, why choreograph anything?
Photo of DoubleTake Dance by Jaqlin Medlock