BWW Reviews: Rioult Dance Explores the Relationship Between Dance and Music
Rioult Dance New York, Manhattan School of Music, Pascal Rioult, Jane Sato, Tara Simoncic, Anastasia Soroczynski
Almost every choreographer attempts to address the relationship between the bedfellows of dance and music. The results of these examinations have had varying degrees of success. Bach Dances with Live Music was presented as a partnership between the two art forms by featuring Rioult Dance New York and students from the Manhattan School of Music. The program consisted of three works, Views of the Fleeting World; City; and Celestial Tides, all set to music by J. S. Bach. This evening, though this program had been performed before, was the first time that it was set to live music in its entirety.
The aesthetic of Pascal Rioult, Rioult Dance's choreographer and artistic director, remained consistent throughout the program, and there was little variety in the style of the three pieces. Nevertheless, Rioult's choreography was beautiful and entertaining. Rioult studied and performed under the legendary Martha Graham and her influence was present throughout the performance, as well as a consistent classical aesthetic. Grahm's maxim of contract and release established the Rioult's theme of dichotomies. Fast and flicking movements were immediately contrasted with slow and graceful ones. Dancers crumpled onto one another, reached out to the audience and the heavens through extensions, and then turned in top of one another. The disparity of the sexes was also a central theme. Male performers explored the athleticism and animalistic tendencies of the human body, while the women's movements were long, sensual, and graceful. The dancers were at their best when dancing individually, as it exhibited their extreme precision. Company member Jane Sato shone above the rest. She was featured prominently throughout all three pieces and was wonderful to watch. She was able to fill the stage through movements in her solo but also commanded attention in her duets and group roles. Sato demonstrably enjoyed the choreography, as the joy seemed to radiate from the tips of her toes. She is Rioult's dancer to watch.