BWW Review: Presenting Diversity with ARIES IN FLIGHT

On November 12th, 2016, Aries in Flight presented their second performance showcase featuring work of emerging choreographers from the New York and New Jersey area at the West-Park Presbyterian Church. This showcase looks to celebrate a diverse range of dance styles and techniques while providing dancers an opportunity to learn, create, and explore their craft in a safe, judgment-free environment.

The evening had eighteen different choreographers. Emma Elliott, Founder and Artistic Director of Emma Elliott Dance, creates Christian contemporary work to inspire audiences. In her piece Breaking, Elliott has an emotional duet with strong technique, nice lifts, and lovely long lines. Kamali Hill, develops work that speaks about the manifestation of Black history and culture as seen in the powerful number Keep The Body, Take The Mind. It is a very timely piece especially with recent events across our country and abroad. Kendra Swartz self-choreographed a beautiful solo called Soon As My Heart Breaks that was absolutely stunning.

Kaitlin Hines/RAQS UNCOMMON had an interesting piece that uses the accents of belly dance in a contemporary light. I loved the arm and hip movements. It was quite impressive. Haunting Betrayal by Carlye Denice, featured an original composition that was recorded and performed by Randall Benichak. I enjoyed the play of dance moves with the music and the dancers' were very committed to their characters, making it interesting to watch. Conversations by Gina Montalto had great moments of stillness that made your heart skip a beat.

The Divide by Reanna Comstock was an intense duet that showcased the season in a relationship where it is time to move on, but there is that feeling of not wanting to let go. Natalie Johnson's Cicatrix gave the image drifting off and getting lost in your thoughts while trying to snap back into reality. I appreciated Kelly Garcia's Swept Away because she and the dancers paid so much attention to detail and little nuances in the choreography. I also loved the graceful dancers and their smooth and fluid moves in Nicole Colbert's Revelation of the Senses.

Emily J. Marshall is such a great mover that you can't take your eyes off her in her self-choreographed piece entitled In Search Of. Shift by Frances Lai Baca and Collaborative Artists incorporates interesting spatial patterns and has a nice flow. In Yuki Ishiguro's piece called Another World, he brings his background of break dance and circus art in this creative dance of trying to break into another world. I enjoyed Emma Elliott's Changing Perspective because it was exciting. They are definitely a talented group of dancers.

In Sentimeno Spirituale, Mitzi Adams and the Adams Company Dance performed a lovely solo that was just beautiful as the dancer moved with such ease and strength. Reliance by Robert Redick was amazing with beautiful shapes. Ha'Shir Al Ha'Aretz (The Song of the Land) by Shani Karni Aduculesi was just remarkable.

Catherine Mancuso, Founder and Artistic Director of Aries in Flight, as a performing company, works to preserve the future success of theater jazz. Drawing from the influences of jazz dance masters such as Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, and Michael Bennett along with current Broadway productions, the ultimate goal is to keep the integrity of theater dance and allow it to flourish as a valid art form for years to come. Her piece Sunrise on the Beach was a fun with gorgeous arms and wonderful long legs. I truly felt like I was on the beach and could feel the sun beaming on my face. Mischief in the Night closed the program with a sassy Fosse-inspired number. I enjoyed it, I couldn't help but dance in my seat!

In addition to her performing company, Mancuso also uses her platform as a way to aid dancers to have a healthy mind, body, and spirit and a holistic dance journey. She believes dance is more than just skills you learn, but is also a means to a powerful walk towards confidence, discipline, community, and self-love. Be sure to join the company for their next event on Sunday, December 4th for a Money, Muscles, Movement Intensive for Dancers. Topics of discussion include money management, injury prevention, and dance audition tips. For more information, please visit their website at

Photo Credit: Gregory Addison

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From This Author Caryn Cooper

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