BWW Reviews: Pentacle's FALL FURTHER II at Citigroup Theater
As I sat in the half filled house at the Citigroup Theater to watch Pentacle's Fall Further II, I could not help buzzing with excitement from the success of last year's show, and Pentacle's reputation at hosting such exciting and diverse performances. Unfortunately, I started to feel my excitement waning as the evening progressed. There were a few standout performances and moments that were sometimes upstaged by unclear artistic direction and technical issues.
Clancyworks Dance Company opened the evening with an excerpt from 'Benchworks,' presenting very diverse and athletic dancers using strong partnering skills in their play with benches. Choreographer Adrienne Clancy worked with the dancers to create an interesting flow, providing moments of collaborative brilliance. The overall piece fell short in its ability to use these props in new and innovative ways. I kept thinking that I have seen better use of props before. In section two of the work, there was a duet occurring at the same time as a trio. This was, often times, more distracting than complimenting. The final section, although engaging, could have worked better if the dancers were more together in their execution.
Ramya Ramnarayan continued the evening with Atmanubhav, which, as she explained during her performance, was a soulful experience, reflecting poetic ideas of wellbeing and prosperity. Ms. Ramnarayan, as a performer and choreographer, had a brilliant subtlety in the way that she was able to pull an audience into her nuances of simple isolated movement and gestures. A movement storyteller, she transported us to the south IndIan Temples with strong acting, technical precision and intricate costuming. This made it unnecessary for her to break role to explain her work to the audience on a microphone that stayed on the stage for the entire performance. A program note would have sufficed.
Lorraine Chapman The Company (LCTC) followed with "The Solemn Movement." MS. Chapman chose iconic music, including Shubert's 'Ave Maria', which at times, seemed to outdo the dancers' technical ability to match the works' intended intensity. The work invited me on an inspired fear-conquering journey for transformation but, in the end, seemed unclear and awkward. I was not sure if the work was intended to be satirical or not. The dancers were also used as dramatists and vocalists, with very little success. But I can say that there were a few lights in "the solemn movement," as seen in an engaging solo danced by Li-Ann Lim.