BWW Reviews: Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Displays Magnetic Artistry at the Salvatore Capezio Theater
This past Sunday, March 17th, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, under the artistic direction of Igal Perry, put on a matinee show to inspire. The show consisted of five pieces, three of which were choreographed by guest artists, and three of which were world premieres.
The show opened with I'm Here, choreographed by Enzo Celli, about his feelings that emerged when contemplating the loss that individuals who were persecuted during the Holocaust must have felt when faced with their loss of loved ones and their own mortality. The piece was performed by four male and female couples to a mixture of classical music and text. While at times, the dancers seemed under-rehearsed in aspects of specific choreography, they more than made up for it in the beauty of their performances. The choreography was touching and each dancer seemed very committed to the portrayal of the overall theme of the piece.
Following I'm Here, was an excerpt from Perry's contemporary ballet Twilight. This fleeting, ethereal duet, was one of the most beautifully danced contemporary ballet pieces I have seen in quite a while. The dancers, Yesid Lopez and Eila Valls had such wonderful chemistry and exuded such powerful confidence. The beautiful technique of the dancers, the fleeting movements of Eila Vall's dress, and the soft piano chords of the well-known "Nocturne #2 in E Flat, Op. 9" composed by Chopin made this piece a real joy to watch. It was most welcome to be introduced to a piece of such beautiful technical focus after the emotional journey that I'm Here brought us.
Infinity, a world premiere piece by Perry, was another beautiful example of aesthetic dance. There were four female and male dance partners and each partner was costumed in a different color. The piece was an undulation of powerful partnering and compelling entrances and exits. During moments of unity, there was the occasional discordant arm or leg, however, the technical prowess of the partners was so lovely to watch, I found myself welcoming the individual idiosyncrasies of each dancer and each partnership. This piece, while presented in a tight package of musicality and specific movements, also demonstrated the living, breathing thing that is dance; that dance is created by humans and in that, slight imperfection is so much more beautiful than perfection.
Following Infinity was an excerpt of the piece Mabul choreographed by Ohad Naharin. It was lovely to see some gestural movement that was so different from the contemporary ballet presented in the show. This contrast made this piece a welcome addition to the virtuosic movement seen previously. While strength and stamina were seen throughout this piece, it had a wonderful grounded quality that made it more earthy and guttural. Once again, the dancers Christopher Bloom and Joanna Defelice were confidently immersed in the performance of the dance. Finding such strong emotional connection along with such deep and spacious movement is a rarity in dance today and was so refreshing to see.
The final piece, Evermore choreographed by Dwight Rhoden was nothing less than what would be expected by such a gifted choreographer. His way of combining contemporary movement with ballet is always so exciting to watch. It seems that he transcends boundaries of what is to be expected when watching a contemporary ballet and he really manages to push the dancers to their full potential: getting them out of their comfort zone while still allowing them the confidence of their own artistic freedom. The gestural hand and arm phrases, the quick and light foot work, the powerful extension and partnering of the dancers, combined with the ever-occasional flexed foot leave nothing to be desired. The dancers couldn't have done a better job of performing such a technically difficult piece with such performative ease.
The wonderful contrast between the emotive performance pieces and the beautiful technical ballet work in this show made it such a refreshing viewing experience. A show with such a holistic and powerful impact can only hint at the artistry and closeness of all the choreographers, dancers, designers, etc involved.