Dance at Memorial House

video by Jeremy Bigelow

review by Kate Monson

A night of dance in a beautiful intimate setting, in this case the Memorial House, really gets my hopes up.  So as I walked through the doors for the recent loveDANCEmore event on March 22 I had one thought on my mind, “please don’t disappoint me.”  I am an unabashed lover of all things dance but I am not immune to that sinking feeling of witnessing a perhaps well conceived, but not well-executed dance event.  Happily this sensation was avoided, and I enjoyed an evening of stylistically diverse, meaningful movement.

Efren Corado’s piece, Song for One or More, was a well-crafted trio that brought to mind Cunningham’s work reflected by Corado’s use of pragmatic simultaneous movement.  Unlike Cunningham these three dancers each had their own take, their own nuance inside the movement. Constructed in mostly shifting formations of unison, it brought to mind the inner workings of a business, everyone doing the same basic things but in their own way revealing more of a power structure than that dreaded arts word — synergy.

In delightfully typical hurdy-gurdy meets Greek goddess manner, Amy Freitas and the improvisation collective Porridge for Goldilocks presented Porridge for Memories with sensitive pulsating music support from Wachira Waigwa-Stone.  Episodic and meandering through several vignettes, I wasn’t sure how everything connected together but I also didn’t care.  Each section was presented thoughtfully and uniquely.  Especially delightful was the quartet danced by Brooklyn Draper, Keanu Forrest Brady, Joshua Mora and Emma Wilson where they playfully responded to poetry by Nick Shifrar. Refusing to fall into traditional roles for his love poem, they swirled happily about, keeping the interpretation of the relationships open to a larger swath of possibilities.

True to form, Ashley Anderson’s witch dance was both hypnotic and mathematical.  Anderson’s choreography is unusual because rather than hiding choreographic tools hoping the audience doesn’t notice them, she lays the tools right in front of you and then insists that you consider them as being valid in their own right.  She is like the mathematician that loves the beauty of the proofs.  She wants you to love the structure of a dance and the reasons that make a dance beautiful and not just the ethereal results.  It takes dedication to invest in a dance like this and I appreciate that she challenges the audience rather than panders to a need for instant gratification.  In the end, a cognitive investment in her piece is richly rewarded as you eventually lose yourself in the beauty of the moment.

This review is published in collaboration with

UTAH’S ART MAGAZINE SINCE 2001, 15 Bytes is published by Artists of Utah, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Categories: Dance

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