BWW Review: GRAYSCALE GRACES THE GROUNDS OF THE GLENDALE BRAND LIBRARY at The Glendale Brand Library And Art Center
As part of the varied and top-notch Dance Series that Curator Jamie Nichols gifts us with every year, Presented by The Brand Associates in conjunction with The Brand Library and Art Center; the Dance Company GRAYSCALE performed outside on the lush grounds of the Glendale Brand Library and Arts Center this past Saturday, May 11th, 2019 in "Give Yourself Credit For Having More than Personality." And since the series comprises of site-specific pieces it was performed exteriorly, on the outer stairs, landings and surrounding grounds of the magnificent Brand Library.
GRAYSCALE, was Founded by Jessica Kondrath in 2005 in NYC, and relocated to Los Angeles in 2009. Collaborating and Accompanying Jessica and the dancers was Kevin Litrow's LITRONIX, a self-contained sound machine; performing his Brian Eno-influenced floating and drumbeat-driven compositions.
The program consisted of several pieces, woven together, entitled "Give Yourself Credit for having More than Personality." The pieces varied in structure and formations but not as much in dynamics. One piece entitled "Repetition is a Form of Change," seemed to be an underlying theme in all the pieces, as I felt there lacked a bit of variety or dynamics in the choreography, although the positioning and formations created by space and focus points was engaging to watch, and technically all the steps were well done, it just lacked a bit of energy and conviction in the positions held. It was, however, right in line with the musical accompaniment; altho ambience tends to be one level as far as dynamics. The nuances in the body language of the dancers hinted at the theme of how individuality is experienced in public, a sort of summation of being the cover, not the book, when you are out and about and on display.
Each dance piece contained imagination, a touch of humor, and some modern-style choreography, with pitch turns, tours en la air, contractions, lovely controlled developpes, and pirouettes; plenty of athletics in between; cartwheels, tuck-rolls, handstands and somersaults and even mimicking different animals they'd like to be. The joy of dancing together was apparent. The staging made excellent use of the areas they covered, using giant pillars to wrap around and incorporate in each theme, and traveling throughout the many levels of stairs and landings quickly and constantly changing groupings and formations.
Using the different levels of stairs and landings, and working complimentary to each other gave the movements flow as if a ripple effect in layers, and another dimension to appreciate dance, form, movement and line on the go, so to speak, ever changing, the feeling of improvising along the way. Really, I became unsure of when one piece ended and the next began, because it all wove together so smoothly. Each dancer had her own personality and moved accordingly throughout.
Lovely technique and floor work appeared well-rehearsed. The reactive choreography felt genuine and both athletic and lyrical at different times. The lovely dancers were Liz Hoefner Adamis, Heidi Buehler, Sinnamon Carbone Hauser, Jessica Kondrath, Megan Seagren and Noelle White.
For performance purposes, it would be nice to broaden the repertoire to keep evolving, and try not to base every work on an achromatic theme; musically, at least. I would love to see the company perform something entirely different to show your range of talents!
All in all, a perfect, passionate Saturday afternoon at a beautiful location, the rain having just stopped and everything sparkled, including GRAYSCALE!