‘Intersections’ Transports you From Tragedy to Laughter
During my viewing of Intersections at Dogtown Dance Theatre this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but notice the pleasing amount of diversity among the dancers, the audience, and of course the performances.
Intersections is a collective show by four choreographers: Annielille Gavino-Kollman, Gavin Stewart, Vanessa Owen, and Michelle Bettin. Performance themes range from present social anxieties to goddesses to a very dark and playful Carmen.
I found the performances to be surprising, theatrical, and quite entertaining.
The first performance immediately won me over with lead choreographer and creator of “Malayaworks” dance company, Annielille Gavino-Kollman. Her simplistic reincarnation of the Hindu mother goddess exuded a violent battle of rage and love, providing lyrical movements violently interrupted by sharp, bold strikes.
The break in her dynamic choreography was spell binding and entertaining. I was surprised to find the second performance was choreographed by Kollman as well. She proves her range of choreographic styles by her first dramatic piece and the energetic quirkiness found in her choreography in the second performance.
The third segment, choreographed and performed by Gavin Stewart, was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but think of classical sculptures. With the help of Vanessa Owen, their intertwining bodies projected a sense of love and devotion along a journey I believe everyone in the audience wished for, or hoped they had in their own lives. The performance was both impressive and mesmerizing as their bodies intertwined than softly collided; effortlessly moving as one. Even though Stewart portrays commitment and devotional love in his first piece, his second piece presents jazzy choreography which humorously reveals the reality from a facade of “love.”
Michelle Bettin choreographed and performed another goddess we all know and love, Aphrodite.
Hers being a lot more playful and light versus Kollman’s Hindu goddess. I found the goddesses collide with the arrival of Bettin’s Aphrodite, supplying a critical dynamic between performances with transformation and portrayal. I loved Bettin’s intention but found her representation of Aphrodite to be too contemporary for the audience to believe they were in the presence of the classical goddess. Bettin’s contemporary prop of bubbles portrays a sense of playfulness and childlike endearment that reflects her artistic dedication to her unborn child.
Choreography from Vanessa Owen also entertained the audience with her representation of one’s attempt to control life and the final submission to anxiety and stress.
Her representation of this everyday battle was not only highly relatable, but ingenious by her comparison to a working clock. Along with the representation, the performers truly exuded the struggle and defiance against the natural works of life. Owen closes the show with Kollman’s choreography in a very personal and intimate version of Carmen. I found Kollman’s choreography layered with tragedy, beauty, and wit.
Kollman’s choreography portrayed the tragedy of rape with artistic movements and poses that resembled Baroque sculptures by Bernini. Although I was very entertained with her dark yet playful choreography, I was disappointed with the ultimate metamorphosis of Kollman’s victimized Carmen to an ill representation of a seductress. Though, through wit and attitude Kollman successfully delighted the audience with her version of Carmen, ultimately transforming this classic opera into a contemporary performance of tragedy and humor.
The Sunday evening show proved to be a success with a standing ovation from the audience. The devoted choreographers have provided exquisite performances with diverse themes that anyone in the audience can relate to. The harmony between choreographic styles along with the music, lighting, and costuming will leave any New Yorker impressed.
“Intersections” is delightfully entertaining, transporting you from tragedy to laughter to deep compilations.
Nicole has been dancing since early childhood and can't get enough. You can find her salsa dancing at Havana 59 or tango dancing at the Vmfa. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from VCU and strives to keep the arts alive! She loves all things lavender, pugs, and crisp weather.
“If you have talent or not, if you are willing to work, I want to teach you,”January 12, 2017
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