Sunday was a beautiful day… if you like the hot sweltering sun. Personally, I prefer a breeze of sorts and a temperature that ranges from 65 degrees to 75 degrees. Sunday was bordering close to 90!
There was a street fair outside my door so after a stroll through the fair for lunch I headed downtown to catch Conduit, Three dances by Daniel Charon at Joyce Soho. I posted a shoutout for the show earlier last week. Click here for that post
From the press release of the performance:Tapping into the deep-rooted seeds of our individuality, NYC choreographer Daniel Charon seeks to display fresh perspectives in how we love, hate, desire, and exist inside a community.
Daniel Charon unveiled three very lush pieces that were solid and equally matched in intensity, physicality, and meaning. The first piece, Shared Mind, was danced by Megan Brunsvold and Katie Swords was a very physical duet interspersed with moments of stillness on the ground where it was as if the two dancers were going to finally get along. “What are they fighting for?” was THE question that kept running through my mind as I was watching this piece. As the piece progressed I understood that these two halves would always be battling but one cannot exist without the other’s company. The stage was lit very dimly and there was a foggy haze that clouded over the entire perimeter of the space. The ending image of the exhausted dancers on the floor with their heads touching made a perfect symmetry and a resting place for these two halves to be joined as yin and yang.
Daniel’s second piece, Juncture, started from a quiet solo danced by the model-esque Joanna Kotze. Her solo was punctuated with vulnerable moments of holds in unconventionally beautiful positions. Her solo ended with her leg creeping up in an inverted passÃ© (or in between tree pose and eagle pose for you yogis out there). (http://www.expertvillage.com/video/36076_ballet-steps-passe.htm) Almost immediately, two very athletic male dancers enter the stage to tumble, roll, kick, leap, and lift Kotze and each other. The music changed into a faster pace and the expertly designed pairings within this trio was interwoven with spectacular feats of agility. Almost without missing a beat, a trio of women enter the stage and command the space with their long limbs that seem to eat up the space with hunger. A couple more women enter the space and their movements are strong yet soft in the foldings of their joints. Series of faster tempo standing phrases punctuate the stage while lead dancer Kotze is sustained in a grounded and weight bearing partnering phrase in a slower tempo. The movement is very exciting to watch and Charon’s choreography is very musical; there were moments where dancers would rise or drop to the ground in accordance to the musical composition. The subtle nuances and detailing within the glances that each performer have with each other offer hints of their trust and friendships.
Four chairs were placed in a square to mark the parameters of the space in which the dancers will perform. The Listening Room, offers the audience to zoom into one particular space instead of panning the space. The quartet of dancers observed each other with utmost curiousity and weaved in and out of each other’s personal space. They dance with their senses (taste, smell, touch, sight), with their pores, and with each other. The music is reminiscent of an old musical box that had been dunked in a fish bowl of half filled water but still manages to churn out the tune it was playing. A pivotal moment happens when a dancer holds her arm over another dancer’s face to cover her eyes removing that dancer’s ability of sight. Struggling to see, that dancer is forced to use her other senses to make sense of her surroundings. This particular piece reminded me of living with roommates in tight quarters. Everyone wanted to know what the other was doing and at times the sense of camaraderie is needed, at other times it stifles the individual.
The lighting designed by Carrie Wood was crafted in such a way that it helped the pieces and not detract from the dances. The costuming by Liz Sargent in The Listening Room was particularly striking; the dancers wore grey fitted tops with flashes of bright colors on their tops and bottoms.
Overall on a scale of 5 stars, I would rate this show 5 stars.
The Listening Room, Photo by Steven Schreiber