|Photo by David Bullanday Photography|
On November 9 and 10, Revolve Dance Company takes over Barnevelder Theater to present its fall concert Nexus, a collection of new pieces imagined by a variety of choreographers, including its co-directors and founding members.
The pieces comprising Nexus were an eclectic bunch, spanning a variety of genres and themes. While they did not deliberately share a narrative, these pieces aligned themselves in order of increasing sophistication in movement quality and staging.
The first piece, "Let's Go for a Ride," was energetic on the surface, as women in brightly colored flapper dresses took turns seducing (man)nequins on roller skates to the tune of a pop song laced with Andrews Sisters riffs. Beyond its novelty, however, it felt somewhat underdeveloped. The movement held extremely tightly to the music, feeling more like a direct translation than an interpretation. Orders of solos and movement phrases became quickly predictable, and the dancers threw a number of smiles at the audience which, while cute at first, came across as needy by the end of the piece.
An issue that arose in "Ride" and also in the third piece, "Sound of Silence," was the sheer number of dancers on stage. It should be noted that managing 12 dancers on stage in an intimate venue is no small feat. If there is no focal point, unison movement can look very blurry, and if spacings are not exaggerated, the density of dancers on stage can appear to remain the same throughout the piece. In both of these works, there were times when the movement and staging may have been crisper on three or four dancers instead of a dozen.
That said, there are also incredibly powerful and sophisticated ways to use 12 dancers on stage, and these are what Revolve spent the last two-thirds of the show exploring to remarkable ends. More »