A conceptually stunning show
The In Motion School of Dance has produced an artful, fluid, hypnotic work of modern dance art called ‘Concepts In Motion: A Revolution In Dance.’ The often mesmerizing mix of movement, music, and spoken word was presented to rapt audiences at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium over the weekend (last Friday and Saturday night).
With the Premier, the Honorable Craig Cannonier MP, in attendance on Saturday night, the pressure was on for the vast cast of dancers; they did not disappoint.
I was fortunate enough to catch the closing night performance as well, and it was nothing short of awesome! Eclectic movements collaborated with inspired musical selections from the likes of Lana del Rey, Massive Attack, Santigold, and Coldplay to create a wonderfully rich tapestry of movement and sound.
Standout pieces included ‘Love Is,’ which was choreographed by Kelly Summers and featured Lana del Rey’s hauntingly lovely ‘Young and Beautiful’ accompanying the luxurious, lavish dance. ‘Young and Beautiful’ featured five impressive students delivering a quite notable performance; the movement was beautiful, the sound was absorbing, and the emotion was memorable.
‘River Deep, Mountain High’ found a large cohort of pre-teens donning white Southern Belle style dresses and delivering a high energy ensemble piece to the piercing sound of Celine Dion singing the title song. This explosive piece was choreographed by Candice Musselman with assistance from Jada Pearman, and absolutely delighted the near-capacity crowd.
The show was a mixture of large group pieces and smaller, more intimate pieces featuring six or fewer dancers. The group pieces were excellent, but the real emotional gravitas was more readily seen in the more intense, intimate pieces. There were also a few solo dances that stood out.
‘Those around me eroding my eerie self exposing my will’ was a six dancer piece choreographed by B. J. Sullivan. This was a study in geometric reasoning, a triangular trust-fall that depicted vulnerability, affection, and the interconnectedness of the human condition; and a downright pleasant thing to experience.
Perhaps the best piece of the show, however, came just before the intermission. This was a large ensemble piece entitled ‘Dear, New Orleans,’ and choreographed by Lauren Botehlo. The piece opened with a video clip of the Katrina damaged New Orleans landscape and a recorded news report from the scene. Once the clip was done, the opening chords to Coldplay’s gorgeous ballad ‘Fix You’ wafted from the auditorium speakers; I immediately knew that this would be one of my favorite pieces of the show!
The piece was richly layered with emotion, service, and love; a simply stunning end to a wonderful first half.
The highlight of the second half of the show was the Morgan Lugo choreographed ‘This Isn’t Our Parade.’ This was a nine dancer work of art that featured the deeply poignant Santigold tune of the same name playing behind the movement. The dance itself was surreally joyous, yet very emotional; there was a longing and acceptance all at once, and it made for a spectacular piece of modern art. The flowing peach dresses didn’t hurt either to be perfectly honest.
‘All These Things’ closed the show; this was a piece of hypnotic beauty, quiet strength, and, ultimately, funk! Opening with the sultry, organic ‘All These Things’ by Mmoths, and closing with Ben Pearce’s club ready ‘What I Might Do,’ this piece capped off a night of inspired movement accompanied by equally inspired musical selections.
Overall, this was an awesome show; filled with excellent choreography, satisfying performances, and marvelous musical selections. The one detail that a few audience members suggested was missing was passion. Noting that this show was put together in three weeks, the package was indeed very impressive; with more time to rehearse and hit the marks, however, this show could be a legitimate world class piece. Passion, after all, comes with familiarity; just something to consider.
Conceptually speaking, though, ‘Concepts In Motion’ was an astonishing success. Bravo.