Posts tagged ‘body logic’

February 25, 2012

Body Logic- One More Night Only!

by sofiastrempek//loveDANCEmore//intern

For companies and artists like those in Body Logic Dance, who perform “Words Unspoken” February 24th & 25th, Sugar Space is an irreplaceable performance venue. Sugar Space can be transformed from studio to black box when the clock strikes 7:30 pm. The stage is bare bones, a place where choreographers can showcase professional level work but the pressure to fill seats is minimized since family and friends of performers often fill the 90 seats available. Sugar Space supports artists almost without discretion. It is available for anyone with a mind to choreograph, with a will to put on a show (although Sugar Space employees will help with that part). The Sugar Space black box should be utilized more than it is, it could also be utilized more deftly.

Body Logic Dance presented an hour and a half program with seven pieces, all of which were pleasant or interesting to watch, some of which approached hilarity, none of which felt fully realized. Which is fine. As I said, the low-stakes of Sugar Space means that dances that feel like works in progress (admittedly for Body Logic Dance, very well rehearsed works in progress) are welcome. For most of the dances, ideas progressed either too quickly or were too quick to revert back to their original form. It was as though the format A-B-A was an ingrained mainstay of how to create a dance, and the choreographers were eager to appeal to that format. “Per Aspera de Astra (Through Difficulties To The Stars)” choreographed by Serena Webb jettisoned through uplifted bourres to dancers crashing to the floor. Before we have a moment to appreciate the tiptoed cashew* feet of Krista Di Lello she has fallen off releve to a crumpled form on the ground.

Webb’s work and most others suffered from a music identity crisis. Possibly I missed a clear progression in some of the dances if only because the music pairing was unfortunate. Amy Markgraf –Jacobson’s “Where Light is Made to Travel” was one of the smartest pieces in the show but music by Thomas Newman was a consistent drone and detracted from the dynamics that the piece did contain. The decisions Markgraf-Jacobson made to counterpoint duets seemed effortless and unplanned. She also used the stage space very well. Very well, that is, if the venue had been anything but Sugar Space. Here is where my comment that the black box should be “utilized more deftly” applies.

In a venue where as I sit in the first row my relatively short legs are a safety hazard for the dancers, my eyes are similarly a handicap, unable to take in the full width of the stage. The audience is up so close and so personal that what might have been a graceful develope a la seconde in rehearsal turns into an almost brazen spreading of legs. Claire Valene Bagley Hayes’ “Settle Down” used two equally petite dancers and only half of the stage but the piece felt large. If only because the focus was clearly directed at all times, “Settle Down” was one of the shortest and one of the least explosive pieces, broaching humor with subtle gestural work, but it felt best suited for Sugar Space. All of the other pieces, some of which fit nine dancers on the stage, would have benefited from consolidating choreography to specific places onstage and rotating some of the lifts to new angles.

I would have loved to have been able to focus on the performers more, to not have them disappear into the multitudes or fly by in a flock of traveling dancers. Again, De Lillo along with Shanna Weight and many of the guest dancers were committed performers. Mistakes are more obvious when the stage is so close to the audience. So is insecurity. Downcast eyes and slightly retreating movement marked the weaker performers. However in a show with more pirouettes and leaps than I have seen in a while, their confidence in technique was evident.

Body Logic can be so much more, with their fluid movers and developing choreographers. First, they should learn to do a little less, to not overburden the stage, to not pick music that is more epic than the movement. Sugar Space will be there, 90 seats and all, when they perform again.

*Writers note: I read this metaphor in a piece written by Dance Magazine’s Lauren Kay, and I had to use it, just once! What a sumptuous image!

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