Dance Review: “Studio Three: New Works Festival”
Richmond Ballet’s “Studio Three: New Works Festival” features four up-and-coming, innovative choreographers showing original works. All four pieces in the Studio series are very diverse, and really show what these supremely talented dancers are capable of.
The first piece, “The Edge of Place” with choreography by Amy Seiwert and featuring music by Hildur Guónadottir, has the female dancers being moved at times like dolls by the male dancers. The movements are rigid and mechanical while simultaneously being very graceful and peaceful. The piece was almost reminiscent of Kabuki theatre with the strong contrasting colors of red and whites in the dancer’s costumes.
The second piece, “Dominant Curves” choreographed by Sasha Janes and music by Osso and Sufjan Stevens, evokes the feeling of watching animals on the Serengeti. “Curves” really highlights the athleticism of the dancers as they move together channeling the graceful lengthening movements of exotic wild animals. The costumes are beautiful navys and purples creating the illusion of a night time scene.
The third piece, “Vanish” choreographed by local talent, Starrene Foster, and with music by Gavin Bryars, has an almost haunting feel to it. The movement in the beginning felt zombie-like. Out of the four pieces I saw on Friday, “Vanish” elicited the most emotion. With costumes in tones of gray, slate, and white, there were times when the dancers almost looked like tombstones placed around the stage. While the piece could translate as a bit macabre, I found it to be overwhelmingly beautiful. Foster’s choreography is organic and the dancers are perfectly in sync.
The final piece, “Saideira” is choreographed by Darrell Grand Moultrie with the exciting and fast paced music of Rodrigo y Gabriela as the backdrop. I really enjoy Moultrie’s idea of having the dancers being able to dance, let loose and just have fun while not necessarily having a plot behind the piece. However, I did find the piece to be a bit too chaotic and it also felt very long, possibly because there was no order to the dance.
As with most of the Studio series, there are videos featured in between the works, where the choreographers explain their creative process and give the audience some insight into the piece they are about to see.
“Studio Three: New Works Festival” has performances through April 14th at the Richmond Ballet’s Studio Theatre.
Do be sure to join Richmond Ballet for “Out at the Ballet” on April 10th at 6:30p.m.
www.richmondballet.com for information.
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.
Each time I think I’ve seen it all with Richmond Ballet I am proven wrong by their fierce revivals, refreshing modern themes, and bold creativity.November 16, 2015
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