La MaMa Blogs: Praise for the 2015 La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival (so far)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Praise for the 2015 La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival (so far)

by Junk Ensemble

"Three blindfolded dancers grope in near darkness as two others lead them in different directions to the sound of hand bells. Moments later, four performers execute a squiggly gestural sequence knitted together with shoulder shrugs, flowing arms and slow pliés punctuated by quick swipes of the ankle. At the back of the stage, another dancer, wearing a wolf’s head, saunters by.

'Dusk Ahead,' an evening-length work full of such eclectic moments and performed by Junk Ensemble on Saturday afternoon at the Ellen Stewart Theater, embraces the surreal side of twilight, which the French describe as, “L’heure entre chien et loup,” or the hour between dog and wolf. That in-between time, in which what once seemed safe suddenly wafts of danger, inspired Jessica and Megan Kennedy, the artistic directors behind this award-winning contemporary Irish dance company. It makes its United States debut as part of La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival."

- Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

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by John Scott/Irish Modern Dance Theatre

"As a writer, I will never keep up with what John Scott's dancers do in HYPERACTIVE (2013), a presentation by Irish Modern Dance Theatre, currently at the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival. This Irish import, billed as a "human dance installation," takes pretty much everything the bodies of Kevin Coquelard, Ryan O'Neill, Marcus Bellamy and Stuart Singer have to offer. Thank goodness what these men have to offer is a lot. My wife was surprised when I returned home so quickly from Scott's show, which is only fifty-minutes long. I told her, 'Had it gone any longer, they would have killed themselves.'"

Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody

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Gwen Welliver | Eric Geiger & Anya Cloud | Brandon Collwes

"For its 10th edition, La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival is presenting about a dozen choreographers over four weeks. A few of those — Gwen Welliver, Brandon Collwes and Eric Geiger and Anya Cloud — shared a bill over the weekend in the close quarters of La MaMa’s First Floor Theater.

Why group these artists together? Whatever the curatorial reason, their small-scale works, as seen on Saturday, seemed at home in the same space, each testing the body’s limits in idiosyncratic ways, each inviting curiosity about the people onstage."

- Siobhan Burke, The New York Times

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by Jane Comfort & Company

"Jane Comfort is a choreographer with a penchant for fusing text and movement — until now. “Altiplano,” which received its premiere on Thursday as part of the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival, signals a departure for this longtime modern choreographer, who in past dance-theater works has explored the myth of Persephone and notions of beauty with Barbie.

In “Altiplano,” or high plateau, she strips away language and uses La MaMa’s deep, narrow stage as a canvas for choreography that examines states of evolution, both of individuals and of communities. All the while, Ms. Comfort refers loosely to the environment: A spooky image of the moon appears on a curtain on the theater’s back wall, and in the work’s final moments, an onstage rainstorm soaks the floor just in front of the curtain."

- Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

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"The two dancers [Edisa Weeks bearing Jon Kinzel] perform Provision Provision gravely and attentively, almost always watchful of each other—even, at times, wary. (A lot of what happens in the piece is improvised, and that relaxed intensity of focus is crucial to that process.) One activity doesn’t appear to lead to another. Each is just slotted in, the way lunch is slotted into a day. Kinzel plays a rhythm on a soda can stuck in his wide-open mouth; Weeks carefully rolls up a theraband and blows into it. When they’ve about finished, he pinches the end of her “flute,” while she blows, creating a little rhythmic tune."

- Deborah Jowitt, Dance Beat @ Arts Journal

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