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The Martha's Vineyard Times

The Martha's Vineyard Times is a weekly publication.
July 14 - July 20, 2005 Edition
Web Comments - Email Submissions

July 14, 2005

There is no new Dance story this week.

Fresh season, fresh dance

June 30, 2005

By Julian Wise

Paul Singh crouches front and center as the entire cast performs Patricia Nanon's five-part "Search, Discover," exploring a wide range of human emotions. Photos by Betsy Corsiglia

Alice Lee Holland is airborne in Melana Lloyd's "Opt Out," danced to music by Arvo Part. On the floor are Lindsay Clark (front) and Melana Lloyd.
This season’s Patricia N. Nanon Residency Premieres at The Yard blew in like a blast of fresh spring air after a long, cold winter. The blend of seasoned choreographers with fresh, dynamic new talent gave the evening a mood of electric creativity as the dancers premiered their latest work.

“Of The Ilk” was the creation of Australian choreographer/dancer Alice Lee Holland. The piece began in silence as dancer Melana L. Lloyd entered the darkened stage through a side window and began a series of cryptic, silent movements which culminated in Ms. Lloyd arching her back and then collapsing to the floor in a fetal position. Dancer Richard P. Decker entered a moment later through the window and the two began to writhe on the floor in yoga-like poses whose gestures suggested both surrender and support. As the bell-like tones of Telfon Tel Aviv’s “Fahrenheit Fair Enough” and the electronica beats of Boom Bip’s “Popsicle” played, the dancers slicked the floor with their sweat as they writhed about before rising through a series of movements that depicted struggle and vitality.

“Nonesuch,” by Choreographer Adam Hoagland, a Julliard graduate, featured dancers Lindsay Clark, Andrew Cowan, Kristen Foote, Dominic Santia, and Paul Singh interweaving among each other in a series of quick, kinetic, flowing motions. At times they coalesced in organic, cellular patterns, creating a sense of cryptic unity with invisible patterns and internal logic. Over the classical strains of a Brahms composition they alternated between group and solo movements characterized by muscular, flowing motions. The dancers used their physicality to suggest both fierce independence and vulnerability as they lifted each other into the air and spun each other about across the floor.

Choreographer Andrew Cowan’s “Opt Out,” featuring Lindsay Clark, Alice Lee Holland, and Melana Lloyd, depicted the three dancers barefoot in jean shorts and sweatshirts, stepping slowly to the dirge-like piano notes of Arvo Part’s “Fratres.” The piece conveyed a mood of trepidation as the frantic violin notes accompanied their oscillation between frozen poses and explosions of frenetic movement. At one point the dancers dropped to the floor, only to rise moments later in slow motion as though resurrected.

Patricia Nanon directed “Search, Discover,” the final piece of the evening. Lindsay Clark, Andrew Cowan, Richard Decker, Kristen Foote, Alice Lee Holland, Melana Lloyd, Dominic Santia, and Paul Singh began the dance with elegant spins, crouches, and arm lifts. As the notes of the Leos Janacek String Quartet No. 1 filled the air, the dancers moved with precision through a series of movements that had a theatrical, narrative tone. By combining music with expressive movement, the dancers entered and exited the stage like characters in a drama, perceiving invisible vistas and backdrops with rapt gazes. The dramatic interplay among the dancers was reminiscent of the kinetic tableaus created by Jerome Robbins in “West Side Story.” At one point, two dancers wielded poles as though blind, tapping out messages to each other before finding each other and uniting in the center of the stage. The piece ended with joyous union as the dancers move with jig-like steps, creating a celebratory, springtime tone. As the lights faded the dancers gathered in a circle, their hands raised like petals of a blooming flower. When the lights rose, the graceful Ms. Nanon joined the dancers onstage for a bow. The audience responded with enthusiastic applause, setting the tone for a vibrant season ahead at The Yard.

Julian Wise is a frequent contributor to The Times, specializing in music, film, and the performing arts.
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