Quote of the week: “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” – Tina Fey
Last week, I went to a modern dance show performed members of Leverage Dance Theater in St. Louis.
It was extremely interesting because it wasn’t a normal show where you sit in an auditorium and watch performers on stage. The show took place at an art gallery where the dancers perform right next to you.
There’s some distance, but one piece consisted of dancers moving around audience members and getting up close to their faces. I had seen and performed modern dance before, but I had not had this experience.
The first number, the dancers were all wearing the same outfit with wigs. Besides the difference in height, it was difficult to tell the dancers apart. It was almost creepy in a way, but I think that was the point.
With music and movements, I could tell the story of the dance had some sort of futuristic plot line. Modern dance pieces are very subjective. The audience may view a dance one way, and the choreographer may have a whole other idea behind it.
That’s the beauty of it. Modern dances also don’t follow a typical storytelling format. There may or may not be repetitive movements. One may think that a piece is over based on the music or a dancer’s movement, but it can just as easily start back up.
The second piece in the show was a duo. There was dim lighting and a wall between the two dancers. I think this incorporated some lyrical movement. There were some jumps and leaps that they did effortlessly. The story behind this one reminded me of the movie “Frozen.”
The scene was when Elsa locked herself in her room for a couple of decades and her sister Anna wanted her to come out to play.
This piece had the same feel based on the dancers’ movements and expressions. They leaned up against the wall and turned away, and at the end their hands met.
The third piece, I’m sure was at least 10 minutes long. For a dance number, that’s pretty much an eternity. This piece featured dancers moving variously around the floor. The piece also focused a dancers at time, as well as the whole group.
It was very dynamic in the movements because there were a lot of partner choreography with cool flips and lifts.
I think this piece represented “survival of the fittest” because the dancers were linked together and they kept pulling each other up and down.
Some dancers even broke away at different points. The ones left alone moved slowly or stayed still at times.
During the intermission, the audience moved to the second floor of the art gallery. The second floor mimicked more of a typical dance show venue. The audience sits at one end and the dancers perform in front of the audience.
The first piece after intermission featured doors. The story behind this one was people taking a “first breath” after being confined. I did not interpret the piece that way. I think it was the doors that threw me off.
Nonetheless, the piece was intriguing and kept my attention because dancers did various leaps and lifts.
There was one solo performance, which was fun to watch. I’m not sure on the theme of the solo, but she did well.
The last piece was a trio. I really enjoyed this piece because the lighting cast the dancers’ shadows on the wall. Their silhouettes added an extra element to the piece. I interpreted the trio number as people helping others overcome anxiety or a fear of some sort.
The piece started with the dancers asleep, and one gets up and starts to shake. Another dancer comes and soothes the other one. It was interesting because the piece incorporated intricate movements, leaps and turns.
If you haven’t seen a modern dance show, I recommend it.
Oh yeah, and happy Independence Day!