March's hour of dance was truly special

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The athleticism, beauty and power of the human form were celebrated in a special hour of dance, organised by the National Dance Foundation especially for Bermuda international company March Ltd., but open to local dance aficionados as well. The programme of five pieces from the repertoire of the Francesca Harper Project and one by Eric Bean Jr., performed at the City Hall Theatre on Thursday, featured ten talented young dancers from the US and Bermuda.

Bermudian dancers Eric G. Bean Jr., Sierra-Renae DeSilva, Shomeiko Ingham and Karissa Roberts were highlighted in the programme as "shining examples of Bermuda's thriving dance community" and were given the opportunity to display their considerable talents in two pieces, DeSilva, Ingham and Roberts performing Three a short, intense piece choreographed by Francesca Harper, and Bean dancing a solo excerpt from his own choreography, "Lost".

The evening was occasioned by March Ltd.'s annual general meeting and the company's donation to the Bermuda Dance Foundation, but dance and dancers were in the limelight.

  • Eric Bean's dance excerpt from

    Eric Bean's dance excerpt from "Lost" was a highlight of Thursday night's dance performance.


The athleticism, beauty and power of the human form were celebrated in a special hour of dance, organised by the National Dance Foundation especially for Bermuda international company March Ltd., but open to local dance aficionados as well. The programme of five pieces from the repertoire of the Francesca Harper Project and one by Eric Bean Jr., performed at the City Hall Theatre on Thursday, featured ten talented young dancers from the US and Bermuda.

Bermudian dancers Eric G. Bean Jr., Sierra-Renae DeSilva, Shomeiko Ingham and Karissa Roberts were highlighted in the programme as "shining examples of Bermuda's thriving dance community" and were given the opportunity to display their considerable talents in two pieces, DeSilva, Ingham and Roberts performing Three a short, intense piece choreographed by Francesca Harper, and Bean dancing a solo excerpt from his own choreography, "Lost".

The evening was occasioned by March Ltd.'s annual general meeting and the company's donation to the Bermuda Dance Foundation, but dance and dancers were in the limelight.

The programme, hosted by Ruth Thomas, opened with Bach Remixed, performed by dancers of the Francesca Harper Project, Mary Carter, Matthew Chiu, Eriko Isaku, Willy Laury, Major Nesby and Stephanie Williams. The piece was a collage of performance genres arranged on a canvas of sound and silence. It comprised modern dance and passages en pointe, elements of mime and the spoken word, light and shadow, live and recorded performance. The collage of forms and feelings, performed as a series of solos, duets and trios set to Bach's Goldberg Variations, explored the theme of dreams and opportunities realised by muscle and bone.

The Calling, a solo excerpt from Jessica Lang's Splendid Isolation II, was an ode to the human form performed by Willy Laury. The costume spread from the dancer's bare torso like an ocean of cloth across the stage, seeming to cut the dancer in two –- muscular power above, fluid grace below – and entangle him, pinning him to the floor, so that the performance was a dance in the vertical plane, the dancer barely moving from his original location. A ballet of power and control set to haunting music by Mahler, it was a splendid performance by Laury.

The mechanistic opening movements of Documotion One: Rave, performed by the Francesca Harper Project dancers, provided an interesting contrast to the sensuality of the subsequent movements set to an infectious beat and danced in costumes of black with flirtatious red embellishments. The ever-changing dynamics and group formations created spellbinding choreography.

Harper's Three, an intense compression of onrushing movement set to the music of Johnny Greenwood, was performed skilfully by Bermudians DeSilva, Ingham and Roberts, and was followed by Eric Bean Jr.'s strikingly different excerpt from Lost performed by the choreographer himself. The vibrant fuchsia costume set against a cool blue scrim reinforced the contrast displayed in the energetic, almost frantic, choreography set to the calm guitar music of My New Zoo.

The programme concluded with Fearless Mine, a reprise of the theme that dreams can be fulfilled, that even the greatest challenges can be overcome. The confining scrim rose to reveal a new door to be opened, but as the six dancers of the Francesca Harper project moved into the expanded space, they came up against new limitations, new barriers that had to be broken through, encouraging the viewer to reflect on the need for continualgrowth and adaptation. As the wider horizons provided greater space to move in a series of intricate, ever-changing dances, the groups formed and dissolved in sinuous, interweaving, kaleidoscopic movement.

The production, created especially for March Ltd., was an exceptional celebration of dance incorporating multifarious art forms in exciting new ways, and bodes well for a vibrant future for dance in Bermuda.

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