BWW Reviews: Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Performs Spring Season 2014
Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Opens its New York Spring Season 2014
I attended the opening performance of Igal Perry's Peridance Contemporary Dance Company on Saturday, March 15th , at the company's the black box Salvatore Capezio Theater. This is a company of 11 dancers, four apprentices, and two certificate program trainees.
Saku, the first work on the program, was a world premiere choreographed by Robyn Mineko Williams to the music of Lucky Dragon. Before the dancers appeared, a film was shown with Williams speaking and dancers rehearsing. The music had a somewhat mechanical feel to it, augmented with chimes. The dancers, too, with the exception of Jason Collins, who graduated from Juilliard last year, were going through their movements without passion. Collins, however, had fluidity and focus, which released his spirit through his every pore. His energy could have filled an opera house; and was most welcomed, whether dancing a solo or as part of a group, for which I was grateful. He attracted attention.
The second dance was not listed on the program, nor could the ushers tell me anything about it. It was announced that this piece would be danced by high school students, a group studying dance at Peridance. These young dancers looked happy at the opportunity to perform; and did so with good unison and musicality. There were a few whose way of moving gave energy to the future of dance, something that is always appreciated and needed.
Third on the program was Theory of Mind, choreographed by Brian Arias to the music of Max Richter, Harold Budd and Claude Debussy. I would have liked to have seen the dancers enjoying and expressing themselves to this beautiful music, which should have offered a much needed undercurrent and impetus to the dance. Again, it was Collins who did just that, showing me how a dancer can shine through the choreography and beyond the footlights into the space of each audience member.
The last piece, Blue, was choreographed by Artistic Director, Igal Perry, to the music of Gavin Bryars and selections from: La Traviata, Rigoletto, L'Elisir d'Amore, Ayre (Sueltate las cintas). The dancers, as the work begins, are each alone, even within a group. One dancer has a blue ball. The others have imaginary balls, doing the same movements as the dancer with the ball, simultaneously. The ball gets passed from one dancer to another, each having a turn with the real ball, which they never dropped. The music changed to opera music, 1 male dancer stripped, showing off his tattooed spine. Another male entered, the two men entering into a pas de deux. There was another pas de deux, featuring a lovely female dancer, Eila Valls (I believe), who gave a generous performance. Although Collins did not have a major role in this piece, he was a pleasure to watch, even when dancing in the back row of the group. The choreography seemed to be made up of disjointed parts, which ran into each other, perhaps like the passing of the ball in the opening; so, when the end the ballet arrived, it was a bit surprising..