Anita’s eye on dance: W&M Dance Projects – Artists in Residence and UJE(Ci)/Framed – DJD Dance Centre
As I left the DJD Dance Centre last night, I mused on the many expressions that the dance art form takes. My thoughts were spurred by W&M Dance Project’s show at the DJD Dance Centre, a wonderfully eclectic evening of performances.
The program is well structured and has great flow. Artists in residence perform three short performances in the first act; then the big guns come out for the second act.
Choreographed by Wojciech Mochniej and performed by he and Anna Kysiak, UJE(Ci)/Framed is inspired. The dancing is stellar. Both performers have deep experience and leave us riveted by their performance, which is based on themselves performing together for the first time in 10 years — therefore a moment that is “Framed”. It’s clear the choreography is built for them. Mochniej and Kysiak take us through moments of intimacy where the connection between them is palpable. Then they perform a strange and funny sequence of moving buckets around — fastidious with the placement — in a kind of rivalry. They are playful, like children at times — and hurtful to one another, too. In one sequence Kysiak keeps flinging herself on the ground in front to Mochniej, laying there for him to pick her up, only to have him walk over her with indifference. The performers have snippets of conversations in Polish and English. A soundtrack that moves from a horse racing track and ambient sound, to electronic fuzz and dramatic swells of music is a powerful third performer. And I loved the square spotlights that checkered the stage.
The first half of the performance by the artists in residence is refreshing. M&W Dance Projects supports them in their work and it’s paid off.
The first two duets use simple and effective movement. I am_. is a duet choreographed by Kyra Newton-Guy and performed with Quinn Kliewe. Wearing costumes of neutral street clothing and identical pigtails, they dance with sweetness and clarity. They second duet, STATES of CONSCIOUSNESS, is an excerpt of a choreography by Meghann Michalsky and danced with Brenna Heer. Their movement really did seem to mirror the interior of someone’s mind, I thought. Sometimes scared, sometimes argumentative and sometimes quiet and sweet. The choreography says it all.
The third dance POLKA (dots): is a comedic solo by Rosanna Terracciano. (Her Mom always loved polka dotted flamenco dresses. Her Dad always loved to dance the polka.) She uses her considerable talent in flamenco dance to take us on an absurdist ride. Statuesque and fearless, Terracciano takes the stage in a dramatic black polka dotted red flamenco dress. It’s an exceptional image. Her performance, always engaging, intentionally veers from the sublime to the awkward. She struts and poses in a nuevo flamenco style that while sometimes recognizable, takes us into entirely new territory. And then there’s the polka. Terracciano is a true experimentalist and a huge character.
Dance is alive and well in our town. See what M&W Dance Projects is offering. You’ll be glad you did.