BWW Reviews: Jessica Lang Dance
A Review of Jessica Lang Dance Returns to the Joyce Theater.
Jessica Lang Dance performed in New York City this week at the Joyce Theater and it did not disappoint. The choreography never failed to be completely original and the cast performed with pristine technique. The show was under two hours and showcased three New York premiers and returning pieces. All movement was impeccably set to music from Handel,Trio Mediaeval,Ciupinski,John and Thomas Metcalf,Mendelssohn, and Edvard Grieg. Jessica Lang truly shows us culture through her eyes with a captivating performance.
The night began with the premier of Lines Cubed. The use of symmetry, clean lines, and primary colors set against a white stage offered the perfect dichotomy to a work that evoked a contemporary, dangerous feel. Lines cubed had an artistic texture that made the audience feel as if we were watching a moving painting.
Sticking with a colorful theme, Lang choose to flow into her next piece entitled Mendelssohn/Incomplete. While this section seemed to be more subtle than the one that preceded it, every detail of movement matched every detail of music. For example, the usage of pairs and trio's among the dancers complimented Mendelsohn's Piano Trio in D minor. The piece finished on a strong note before a short break. Aria, set to the music by Handel from the opera Radamisto, was next to grace the stage. Whether it was the use of the color red, or quick footwork, or Italian opera music, the entire segment was a gift of passion mixed with tragic beauty.
After an intermission the curtain opened to a breathtaking scene to start The Calling. Dancer Kana Kimura was center stage adorned in a white dress so long that it almost reaches each corner of the stage. She does a series of simple gestures that had the audience believing that she could be devoured by her attire at any moment. Although this image was aesthetically pleasing, it (perhaps purposefully) left me wanting more. Luckily, the show was about to reach its peak.
The last two pieces of the night, White and i.n.k, incorporated advanced film and music methods in addition to spectacular movement through space. Shinichi Maruyama accomplished a very fresh approach to dance by overlapping different dancers and different time frames. When the dancers physically returned to the stage, we watched as they mimicked the water droplets on the screen behind them. One of the most memorable portions of the whole show happened during i.n.k, an emotional duet between Clifton Brown and Kana Kimura. Both dancers showcased exquisite, classical technique that also proved to be fluid and heart-wrenching. The two were then joined by their fellow dancers for a lively ending to close the show.
Jessica Lang Dance truly puts heart into every detail of their performance. The company's return to the Joyce Theater is no exception and became another reason why dance in New York City is never a disappointment.