BWW Reviews: Roschman Dance and DoubleTake Dance Present: ARRIVAL
By Jennifer Fried
I haven't been out on a Friday night in the East Village in three years. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised to be in a speakeasy turned theatre on St. Marks enjoying new dance works by Roschman Dance and DoubleTake Dance.
DoubleTake's first offering of the evening, Passage and Perception, filled the stage with a variety of dynamic movement that was calm, smooth and quiet at times, yet still projecting sharpness and athleticism. Most remarkable was the cast of females partnering one another with the same ease as men.
The company then offered the solo Til Enda, featuring Ashley Carter. Entering the stage quietly reading a newspaper, she seemed to grow angry, exploding into movement that questioned current events. The choreography demonstrates that contemporary dance need not draw only from ballet or modern techniques, but from sources such as hip hop.
Roschman Dance's first offering, the graceful This Too, Can't Stay, presented an elegant pas de deux. Two dancers floated across the stage seeming, at times, to be deeply in love, although the female had to continually engage the male's interest. The movement's intention and movement were so intimate that it almost felt as though you were in their bedroom watching their relationship unfold.
Following MutatEvolution, a slinky, seductive piece where the dancers entered into the primal world of animals, successfully sucking the audience in.
DoubleTake's final piece, Shirt off my Back demonstrated the versatility of their artists, highlighting both technical athleticism and theatricality. The piece depicted a common scene in New York City: the wealthy with much and the homeless with very little, interacting or ignoring one another in a park. The dancers made the audience question if we should continue to ignore those in need right next to us.
The company's Territories overwhelmed the stage with its precision and graceful, yet large movement. Roschman knows how to highlight the best features of his dancers--the men glided across the stage as effortlessly as the women. Particularly pleasing was the dynamic use of formations, perhaps depicting the space people claim and occupy as their own.
It was amazing to see Vanessa Martínez de Baños and Ashley Carter, artistic directors of DoubleTake Dance and Sean Roschman, artistic director of Roschman dance work collaboratively to create a cohesive show with two distinct yet complementary companies.
Photo from Passage and Perception by DoubleTake Dance. Photo: Ayaha Otsuka