BWW Reviews: ITE FESTIVAL Serves up a little Darkness at the Shetler Studios

Nelly Van Bommel served up a smart character piece entitled Point par Point. Her dancer, Katie Mattar, clad in a textured lace, vintage dress, cleverly matched her partner for this piece: a lone lampshade. Mattar's strong build and sense of sophistication helped her move through Van Bommels richly musical phrase work. Honorable mention to the choreographer's musical choice, "La Plus Belle Pour Aller Danser" (translated "the most beautiful for dancing") performed by Chris Garneau, for bringing a much needed sense of nostalgia to the evening without taking away from the integrity of the piece.

Sidra Bell's New Demon was a study in articulating complete abandon. During the talkback after the show dancer Alexandra Johnson, stepping in for the choreographer, explained how the dance was created over the course of five days as a short exercise in full bodied emotion through movement. Johnson and her partner Austin Diaz are drenched onstage in sweat under a wash of warm light. The two of them spun and tossed themselves through the space in simple white leotards, giving form to Bell's curvaceous movement aesthetic.

The last work of the night, Loni Landon's Don't Forget to Go Home, was a kinetic duet inspired by the avoidance and evasion in relationships. Dancer Allison Sale was present and nuanced at every moment of this work as she and her partner, the able-bodied Christopher Ralph, existed co-dependently, swerving, hinging, and enveloping each other through Landon's intricate choreography. The last image of Home positioned the dancers in a slow backwards crawl downstage as the lights slowly faded out, leaving the audience an impressive and lasting image to take home.


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Brendan Drake Brendan Drake is a Brooklyn based freelance choreographer, dancer and occasional writer. He creates work under the umbrella of his group Brendan Drake Choreography which has been produced at Movement Research, Dixon Place, The Wild Project and others. His first full length work entitled Last B@#$% Standing, premiered at Triskelion Arts Center as part of their Split Bill Commissioning Program. Brendan holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Massachusetts.