FROM THE CRITICS
Dance-Forms Productions is celebrating the success attained by distinguished choreographer Vincent E. Thomas with performances of his solo "Come Change" during presentation of Danceforms' 60th International Choreographers' Showcase" at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from August 6 through 11, 2012. You are cordially invited to read review of his performance: Vincent E. Thomas Danceforms Showcase | Fringebiscuit
DANCE & PHYSICAL THEATRE
Dance-Forms - The 48th International Choreographers' Showcase
Winifred R.Harris' Between Lines Company
An elegant range of dancers took the stage to provide a mixed bag of performances which at times felt rather samey. The first and main act 'A propos de Butterfly' was the most self indulgent, a dance version of the world famous 'Madame Butterfly' which lacked the passion of the opera and looked dull in comparison. This wasn't helped by images being projected on a screen, distracting the audience from the graceful dancers on stage. Another droning piece included a soundtrack with the never ending words 'One grain of sand', however, the programme ended with four intriguing performers who helped to bring this dance collection up to a more impressive standard.
Zoo Southside, 9 - 13 Aug, 10.45am (12.15pm), £10.00, fpp113.
Issue 13 - Thursday 14th August
Three Weeks e-Daily - The Edinburgh Festival Sorted
Danceforms' 'The 42nd International Choreographers' Showcase'
A beautiful performance in a beautiful space. The old stone arches and the blacked out, high windows of the converted church add a wonderfully atmospheric feel to this performance, making it that little bit more special. The first act was simply awe inspiring, an Indian dance group who were an absolute delight to watch, and are the reason why this show scores a high rating; they totally stole the show. This is a show that you really should see, purely to experience that first sensational act.
Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House, 5-9 Aug, 11.00am (12.30pm), £10.00 (£7.00), fpp 114.
tw rating 4/5
Review of Danceforms' "The 42nd International Choreographers' Showcase" by ljgflute, United States
This is a sampling of work by several different choreographers. The opening number was by far the best and was Indian traditional dance (with some contemporary dance mixed in as effective as the traditional material), which I had never experienced live. The highlights were a) a *fantastic* tabla player, b) the incredible intensity of the dancers' eyes and eyebrows, and c) the fabulous image of a bedecked dancer portraying Shakti, completely still in an iconic pose.
The Temple of Fine Arts Dancers
Gary Platt, Photographer
The British Theatre Guide
Danceforms: The 42nd International Choreographers Showcase
By Lucy Ribchester
Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House
Danceforms deliver a solid line-up of contemporary choreography in this showcase which varies in style, pace and influence from multidisciplinary Indian dance to intriguing female solos.
The Temple of Fine Arts, an institution based in several countries including Malaysia and the UK, steals the show with their opening piece, Shakti The Eternal Energy. Choreographer Sarasa Krishnan has created a fascinating ensemble dance, as vibrant in colour and execution as it is interesting in its sources and influences. Krishnan draws on Indian philosophy and legend to weave together a five-part sequence, each represented by a poem, whose authors stretch from the ancients to the 20th century. The costumes are beautiful bells on belts and coloured sashes for the female dancers, black trousers and bare chests for the males. As the dance progresses, the spirit of Kali, portrayed with strong poise and sensuous energy by Umesh Shetty, is purged and the exquisite Krishna (Sandhya Suresh) emerges. Throughout the piece choreographer Krishnan, also an artist, works away at a painting on a backcloth, and meanwhile the air is thick from the incense they scatter before the dance begins. Its a feast for the senses in every possible way.
Darla Johnsons Map Making shifts the mood, with an ethereal duet performed by Amanda McCorkle and Michelle Nance dressed in angelic rags. The delicate score is matched by their sweeping energy as they fold gently into mirroring one another, then flow in opposite directions. Sometimes the dance turns introspective as they clutch their bellies and thighs, but it never quite develops.
Valli Boobal Batchelors Bathshebas Voice uses Australian and Indian dance forms to tell the biblical story of Bathsheba as a metaphor for violence against women. There are arresting moments, such as Bathshebas seduction by David which here is portrayed as rape, but the constantly changing pace of the score becomes intrusive and distracting after a while.
Two contrasting solos mark another change in pace. Sarah M. Barrys short piece, Something About Him, plays with gender, not only in Barrys donning of a masculine waistcoat, shirt and trousers, but in her movements, which seem androgynous, gathering sensual momentum then freezing suddenly in strong poses. Michells Nances White Mourning in Black is starker, starting and finishing with Nance curled up like an egg on the floor, wearing the black of the title. The score shifts from water-like electric droplets to a drone of mismatched human voices, and accordingly Nances movements speed up to a manic pace then slowly exhale as if treading through water. There is an almost alien quality to her at times in this carefully executed, intriguing piece.
To finish, Maria Hackbarths Outlier has a lighter, more accessible feel to it, as the four female dancers in burlesque style fishnet body stockings roll and whirl around one another like haywire clockwork toys. At one and a half hours this tasting menu of dance is perfect value for money, and a great way to spend a morning gorging on a diverse range of choreography.
Until 9th August
The Extreme Dance Company ~ Unity & Rhythm
Edinburgh Guide ~¶¶¶¶
In a celebrity obsessed world where in the field of entertainment Britney Spears and Paris Hilton appear to be the Apex of success it is all too easy to become cynical and critical of the whole sorry mess, that is until you meet the performers and staff of The Extreme Dance Company.
This dance troupe is in Edinburgh performing on the Fringe and when I say perform I mean blowing the socks of anyone who cares to watch them. Appearing at the Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House (Venue 115); this performance space continues to deliver contemporary and progressive work from all around the world. And this show is a classic example of that tradition.
They describe themselves as pre-professional and this should not be read as meaning amateur, their performances and approach to the work is anything but. Maria Kroll and Erin Lee are Artistic Directors within this show and one of Extremes aims is to help people make the transition into the cutthroat world of dance and judging by this performance they do it with passion, conviction and success.
Talking to the two directors and one of the solo dancers; Jessica McCray it becomes abundantly clear that Dance is not just something they enjoy it matters to them, its an important part of their lives, it is an essential aspect of who and what they are. The two Directors with the support and assistance of Susana B. Williams, Director of Dance-Forms Productions brought over a one hour show which amalgamates modern and contemporary dance with classic Tap. The resulting fusion is a dynamic and energised piece of work where the audience is constantly engaged and occupied by the performance of the dancers for the entire show.
The performance is the end result of months of planning, preparation, rehearsal and fund raising. This entire process forms part of the dancers training, creating and enforcing a disciplined and committed approach which is essential to achieve any kind of success in this field. Both Directors emphasised that by setting and expecting the highest of standards the young dancers rarely failed them. But, whether all of the participants go on to become full time professional dancers is not important in my opinion. What is happening here is that Edinburgh and the Fringe is touching their lives whether they know it or not and through their dedication and effort they in turn reach out and touch the lives of other people. Like a stone thrown into a pond the ripples of their work expand out into the world enriching it and making it better, a cliché I know, but true. The lessons learned, experiences gained and heart ache endured during this whole process forms them into people that have special qualities and personalities which will go with them and serve them well for rest of their lives. And for their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment I salute them.
This show is 60 minutes of some of the best dance to be seen on the Fringe. It has its emotional highs and lows and an ebb and flow of energy and enchantment. All of it performed with a startling level of technical ability but above all joy and commitment.
As I write this review the Fringe is drawing to a close and these rare birds of paradise have already flown the coop returning home to continue their journey of growth and development. One hopes that they return again to enthral and entertain us; we are all the richer for it.
Danceforms' "The 37th International Choreographers' Showcase
Dear Mrs. Williams,
I've seen a lot of dance in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles and in my nearly 20 years in London The joy of your whole show was its overall balance; you really chose some good performers.
Bob Jacobson, Composer
The Place, London
Helanius J. Wilkins
"The 37th International Choreographers' Showcase"
Melting the Edges ****
(Choreography: Helanius J. Wilkins, performed by Reginald Cole, Anthony Rollins-Mullens and Helanius J. Wilkins)
Melting the Edges was perhaps a little too long but it was expertly performed by three engaging dancers, clothed in interesting three-quarter length cream tunics with long sashes, each lined in a different coloured silk. The choreography was mostly a highly structured interplay of steps, lifts and jumps but the work was also effective when the three guys progressed into improvised freestyle towards the end.
Graham Watts/Ballet Magazine
"The 37th International Choreographers' Showcase"
(Choreography: Alvin Erasga Tolentino, performed by Alison Denham)
Amongst was a very effective study of movement and physiology; the bronzed skin on Denhams near naked body stretched so taut across her skeletal frame, like a hide tightly covering a drum, with every bump of her ribs, spine and hip joints appearing as a clearly visible landscape undulating with every movement. Nudity is often gratuitous in modern dance but here it was essential to the works intent and there was a particularly supple grace to Denhams actions that made the piece distinctly beautiful.
Graham Watts/Ballet Magazine
Nejla Y. Yatkin
"The 37th International Choreographers' Showcase"
For People with Wings ****
(Choreographed and performed by Nejla Yatkin)
The third work of merit was Nejla Yatkins For People with Wings, which opened and closed in silence, framing a soundtrack that included the aria Ebben? Ne andrò lontana from Catalinis La Wally (both as a piano track and sung by Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez, as in the cult film Diva). It was the imagery of this work that struck me most; Yatkin wore a multi-layered full skirt of black netting, which was offset by her long, jet black hair; she opened the work bent over on the floor, hair and skirt melding into one, an image that recurred often during the performance. Amongst many memorable passages were those resembling a dying black swan with her long, powerful arms rippling in outstretched motion.
Graham Watts/Ballet Magazine
"The 37th International Choreographers' Showcase"
(Choreographed by Ivo van Zwieten and performed by Cristian Laverde König)
a ballet solo that was skillfully danced by Christian Laverde König (ex-National Ballet of Cuba) with choreography that was in places reminiscent of the Matthew Bourne themes for his Swan
Graham Watts/Ballet Magazine
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2007
Dance-Forms Productions: The 37th International Choreographers' Showcase
Roxy Art House (Main Hall)
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Every year at the Fringe, Dance Forms Director Susana Williams assembles a program of contemporary dance work by a range of choreographers from around the world, many from the U.S., Canada and Europe. This year's production offered several works of interest.
German choreographer Nejla Yatkin, who currently teaches at the University of Maryland-College Park, performed a stunning solo, For People With Wings - stunning not least because of her physical beauty, which intensified the work's impact. Resting on the floor, face up, head pointed towards the audience, Yatkin's long black hair fanned around her head, and froth of black tulle skirt shrouded her lower body. Her back arched, tilting her face toward us, and her sinewy arms rippled to either side. As the work progressed through whirling turns and luscious fan kicks, Yatkin's gaze remained downcast, as if she danced in a room alone. Dropping into a backbend, knees folded, pulling the tulle over her head, she seemed part black swan, part sacrificial lamb, until at last she left her skirt behind and danced unadorned into the dark.
Washington, DC-based choreographer Helanius Wilkins offered Melting the Edges, a trio for three men, the energy and exuberance of which burst open the space after many solos and duets. To music by Sven Avow and Michelle Rudolph, dancers Wilkins, Reginald Cole, and Anthony Rollins-Mullens rolled and spun, moving together into a circle with palms raised and pressed together. Within the circle they supported each other in turn, or broke out into kicks or lay-outs, always coming back together wheter in the same circle, or an interlocked line, or a cluster where each found his own way into the music's beat.
Out of the nine other works on this program, Fred Darsow's Animo y Adelante performed by Pamela Geber and Satu Hummasti presented a grounded, sweeping movement duet enlivened by the flickering arms and hands and percussive pauses of Flamenco. London-based choreographer Hagit Yakira created an uneasy, combative duet for herself and dancer Yarit Dor titled Somewhere between a self and an other, where both women appeared wracked with conflict, both within and without.
A shorter program, or two alternating programs, allowing Ms. Williams to present the same number of choreographers, would also allow the works to be better seen and the audience to remain alert and engaged.
Dance Forms International Choreographers' Showcase
Roxy Art House, Edinburgh; 9th August 2006
By Graham Watts
Critical Dance Magazine
Top of the tree was 'Providence', an innovative and enjoyable solo, created and danced by Danny Tan (the founder and artistic director of Odyssey Dance Theatre in Singapore) with an emphasis on Chinese movement and music. It was a very professional production, well lit and inventive: half way through the work, Tan dons a linen shirt with 2-metre long sleeves, creating a new performance dimension by using the flow of the fabric within the choreography, rolling and unfurling the sleeves to complement the body's movement.
There was also a dramatic pas de deux, created by Christopher Hutchings in New York and danced by Attila Joey Csiki (formerly a soloist with Tokyo City Ballet) and Virginia Horne, a delightful Hawaiian ballerina with professional experience in both her home state's company and Colorado Ballet. Very much in the MacMillan genre (and certainly not out of place in a 'Romeo & Juliet' narrative context), the duet effectively utilized the large space and was studded with strong lifts and holds, beginning and ending with the lovers in a passionate clinch on the floor.
There was also some promising work by several young American dancers: Ariel Cohen and Amy Softic in a duet that investigates changing patterns in the evolving relationship between two sisters, intelligently crafted by recent Smith College graduate, Tara Madsen; and two ensemble pieces for women - a quartet, 'In Memoria', and a sextet, 'Lifeline'- created from within a group of recent alumni from the Long Island University's School of Visual and Performing Arts, now known as the Immersion Dance Company. The patterns of individual and collective movement and spatial dynamics showed great potential for their two choreographers (Carla Menchinella and Michelle Durante).
Dance Forms International Choreographers' Showcase
Roxy Art House, Edinburgh; 19th August 2005
By David Mead
Critical Dance Magazine
Dance Forms' showcase afternoon is a little different to most dance performances at the Fringe. Instead of focusing on one or two companies or performers you get to see ten works by choreographers and dancers from the USA, Canada, India, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Venezuela, and Guatemala. Of the ten pieces on show, three pieces really stood out; 'Auf Suche' by Italian choreographer Mauro de Candia, Californian Anandha Ray 'Center of Courage', both duets; and Sofia Silva's trio 'Branco' from Portugal. 'Auf Suche', danced to music by Johan Sebastian Bach is a couple of years old having been premiered in Monte Carlo in 2003. De Candia has already es tablished a successful choreographic career and it shows in this quite bewitching work.
In their almost identical simple costumes dancers Alexandra Milne (Canada) and de Candia himself begin in their own circles of light, making really striking movement and poses. As the work develops they come together and apart, the choreography clearly rooted in the classical ballet tradition but with a considerable contemporary dance element. De Candia is director of Gruppo Arte&BallettO in Barletta in Southern Italy and resident choreographer for Hanover Ballet in Germany. After the show we talked briefly and he explained that 'Auf Suche', which means 'searching' in German, was conceived following an intense time making 'Casanova, the smile of the Devil', his first creation at Gruppo Arte&BallettO. He spoke of how he went to the studio searching, but with no real idea of what for. It was however nice to be free. The work certainly reflects that, things appearing to happen so naturally; nothing is forced.
Anandha Ray 'Center of Courage' was beautifully danced by David Fonnegra and Maria LaMance. Ray's is known for imbuing her work with lots of feeling, be that humour, grace, compassion or sorrow, allying that with striking visual effects and athletic physicality. 'Center of Courage' was certainly intensely passionate and, yes, even sexy, with some great lifting and catching involving lots of trust. There was most definitely a relationship happening here and the dancers certainly aroused this member of the audience! The music, by Craig Chaquico, was originally written only on one string because the composer, then twelve, was recovering from a severe accident and could only reach one string on the guitar. Ray also had two other works on the programme, 'Dream Catcher', receiving its European premiere and danced by Devon LaRussa and LaMance; and 'From Heaven', danced by Fonnegra and LaMance.
Sofia Silva 'Branco' simply oozed class, choreographically, from the technical and interpretational abilities of dancers, Sofía Soromento, Susana Nunes, and Tiago Madeiros. Essentially it was in three sections, to music by Boozoo Bajou, Peter Gabriel and Tomas Gubitsch, each with its own mood and movement vocabulary. The work opens with the three dancers each in their own circle of light, something that seemed to be a bit of a recurring theme throughout the afternoon. Sometimes they moved slowly, sometimes suddenly, and jarringly. Think of being in bed and having a bad dream from which you can't escape. Later the dancers come together, Silva always keeping us interested with the way she changes the partnerships, the dancers often working as a pair and one alone, the loud ticking, clock-like sound of the music driving the dance ever forward. The middle section shows another side to her choreography it all gets very physical with lots of running, lifting and partnering. Again, Silva always keeps us interested; you never know what is coming next. Finally, the dancers return to their own circles, sort of back to their dreams, still pounding away in their heads, the movement becoming ever more frenetic, as if they still can't make things go away, before coming to stillness. Silva explained afterwards that the stimulus for the dance was the 'Black Painting' by Russia n artist Kasimir Malevich, who created the first Suprematists paintings in 1913. Malevich was known for his non objective paintings made of bare geometric forms, often just a single square on the flatly painted square. 'Branco' of course means 'white', the opposite of the art work. Silva said that the black costumes, on loan from the Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo are a representation of the black paint Malevich used. Perhaps 'white' is the canvas.
The other works shown included 'Icaro', which opened the proceedings, a flowing solo emphasising space, choreographed and danced by Dance Forms co-founder and current director Susana B.Williams. 'Invisible Dialogues' an excerpt from 'Makeba's Lament' was choreographed and performed by Ursula Payne (USA), who seemed to have lost something or someone. Payne has previously worked in the US with Tiffany Mills and there are clear similarities between the two choreographers' vocabularies. 'In Between', receiving its World Premiere in Edinburgh, was choreographed and danced by Martine Van Santen, a graduate of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds. I wasn't quite sure what it was that she was 'In Between', maybe student and professional life. The choreography certainly seemed to be a mix of classroom-type movement and something a little deeper.
Indian Vidya Shimladka had two works on the programme. Trained in classical and folk dance traditions of India, Shimladka is the artistic director of Nrithyaloka dance company based in Bangalore and a well-known exponent of Bharathanatyam. Judging on the first piece, 'Shakthi Bindu' especially, her choreography draws inspiration from various forms of dance and theatre. This work was about Shakti, the mother goddess who is the energy of the universe, the power of the cosmic world. The movement began with some intricate stamping footwork which set in motion the rest of the sound and dance, Shimladka introducing Western elements and thus attempting to push the boundaries of Indian tradition. Her second work, which concluded the afternoon, was I' N' U', danced to traditional temple music. Described as being about 'reflections and dreams, reality and illusions, ideas and images' and taking the audience 'on a creative journey through imagination', it shows many images and movement from Indian temple dance.
Overall an enjoyable and varied afternoon of dance. People sometimes ask where all the choreographers of the future are. I'm telling you, some of them were here. The only disappointment was that so few people were there, and that only five performances. Several of the works were high quality indeed and certainly deserving of a wider audience.
Three Weeks Daily - on the inside 24th August 2005 -
Three Weeks Rating: * * * *
DANCE AND PHYSICAL THEATRE
Danceforms presents 'The 29th International Choreographers' Showcase' Dance-Forms Productions
By Jessica Baldwin
A beautiful collection of dances created by eight international choreographers, with performance genres ranging from tender ballet duets to Indian folk dancing this unique showcase provides the audience with a fantastic variety of styles, genres and skill levels.
The most breath taking choreography for me came from Anandha Ray, recently named one of the top twenty-five women's arts visionaries. I felt her dancers managed to display a beautiful emotional bond that strengthened the narrative behind the dance. With such an eclectic show there is sure to be at least one performance that will blow you away.
Rocket Venues, 16 - 20 Aug, 3:00pm (5:00pm), Three Weeksrating 4/5
Panoply Arts Festival, Huntsville, Alabama 2005 Choreography Winners Announced
The Best Overall Choreography Winner was Kris Cangelosi from Cangelosi Dance Project based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a modern piece entitled "Caught"
"Caught" was featured in "The 28th International Choreographers' Showcase" presented at Sala Cuarta Pared in Madrid on June 7 and 8, 2005.
Congratulations to Lisa Lock for her Best Female Dancer of 2004 The Beverly Hills Outlook Award!
The Scotsman, Friday 13 August 2004
Festival Fringe Reviews
DANCE AND PHYSICAL THEATRE
Presented by Dance-Forms Productions
LILY, DROP AND FALL, THE GIFT
*** Rated three stars
ROCKET @ DEMARCO ROXY ARTS HOUSE (Venue 115)
By Kelly Apter
KUEI-CHUAN Yang formed Taiwanese company Assembly Dance Theatre after studying choreography in California. As a result, her work blends traditional Far Eastern moves with American modern dance. Yang's strong suit is clearly synchronised group work, and when the performers are jumping and tumbling to the floor in unison, it's a sight to behold. Watching her powerful male dancers execute the same manoeuvres as the delicate females is truly fascinating.
Opening work The Gift, is by far the most dramatic of the three, with bold acrobatic lifts and dives followed by moments of stillness. Flower, Leaf and Branch replaces the advertised Drop and Fall: two solos which highlight the other side of Yang's choreography. For Lily the dancers are in smart trousers and summer dresses, looking the picture of normality - until slipping into their pyjamas and become tortured souls wrestling with an inner demon.
Photo by Holly Williams
Selected show: The 26th International Choreographers' Showcase"
Here's what the members of the public and press think about this one.
Cutting Edge? 17 Aug 2004 **** Rated four stars
Reviewer: Cramond Perry, Scotland.
Took my 13 Year old daughter along to encourage her interest in dance. This felt like it was pushing the envelope. I particularly liked the first duet accompanied by Bolero and images, the end group dance in white and the multidirectional dance. Both pointe dancers were excellent but too scrawny. More cakes for them!
Interesting! 14 Aug 2004 ***** Rated five stars
Reviewer: Celia Simpson, UK
I enjoyed the variety of choreographers represented and particularly the innovative works -- Bolero (Holly Williams) and Liquid Ritual (Lisa Lock). Definitely worth seeing, this one!
The Scotsman, Thursday 12 August 2004
Festival Fringe Reviews
DANCE AND PHYSICAL THEATRE
"THE 26TH INTERNATIONAL CHOREOGRAPHERS' SHOWCASE"
**** Rated four stars
ROCKET @ DEMARCO ROXY ART HOUSE (Venue 115)
By Kelly Apter
In the past, Choreographers' Showcase has been a hit and miss affair. It has seen dancers thrown together to present largely uninspired work in cramped surroundings. So it came as a welcome surprise to discover that this year's offering is dynamic, confident and, above all, diverse.
Featuring the work of seven choreographers, the show ran the gamut from contemporary to classical, with solos, duets and large group work.
Set to Ravel's Bolero, the opening duet by Holly Williams had some nice touches, but lacked drive and the video backdrop served only as a distraction.
But from there we moved on to five wonderful, and very different, solos. Susana Williams, the brainchild behind the showcase, has been dancing since the Sixties and as such brought a wealth of experience to her Multidirectional Walk. A spirited piece of pointe work followed, as feather-clad Beatriz Pascual made coquettish use of the Roxy Arts House columns in Daryl Raizal's Autumn.
Mahler's emotive strings served as a backdrop to Kris Cangelosi's Journey Home, a cathartic journey performed by the etheral Bethany Jones-McCullough. Choreographed and performed by Anne Zuerner, The Grind was the funkiest work of the night. Dressed in trainers and lycra shorts, she shot round the stage, a flashing red light adding a twist to the movement.
The penultimate solo by Lisa Lock was relatively short, but proved to be the highlight of the entire programme. Her stunning stage presence - all long limbs and cropped peroxide hair - made Liquid Ritual utterly compelling. An industrial soundtrack only intensified her contemporary moves performed en pointe.
Maria Kroll's ambitious work for 12 dancers closed the show in fine style, with passionate choreography performed to Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan. With precious little dance at this year's Fringe, this show deserves a much longer run.
"THE 24TH INTERNATIONAL AMERICAN CHOREOGRAPHERS' SHOWCASE."
Por Brenda Arévalo (Guatemala).
Ex Directora y ex bailarina estrella del Ballet Guatemala.
Dos muestras y varios coreógrafos en una síntesis de diferentes estilos. Organizada por Susana B. Williams, directora de Dance-Forms Productions, la cita fue en Guatemala, en el teatro "Miguel Angel Asturias". En la capital de Guatemala, el Centro Cultural "Miguel Angel Asturias" se vistió de gala para presentar a un grupo de artistas consumados. El público, impaciente, llegó con más de media hora de anticipación a esta cita con la danza que convocó a coreógrafos de diferentes partes del mundo. "The 24th International American Choreographers' Showcase", también llegó a tierras mayas, de la mano de una coreógrafa nacida en ese país y residente en los Estados Unidos.
Susana B. Williams, directora de Dance-Forms Productions, es el alma mater de esta muestra coreográfica basada en la diversidad estética. La primera obra "X-Factor" del coreógrafo estadounidense Mark Marino, tuvo como intérpretes a los bailarines Ashley Arthur, Tiffany Carroll, Julie Charles, Joey Csiki, Zach Heller, Fred Odgaard y Crystal Wosik, integrantes de The American Dance Company.
Joey Csiki hizo despliegue de un dominio completo de las técnicas tanto clásica como contemporánea. Bailarín formado en la Escuela del Ballet Nacional de Toronto más tarde se integró al Ballet Nacional de Canadá. Durante su participación en la competencia de danza de Jacksonville, fue contratado por el Tokyo City Ballet iniciando así una trayectoria que lo llevó a ascender desde el cuerpo de baile a bailarín estrella de la compañía. Aunque de una excelente formación clásica, Csiki interpretó los temas modernos y sensuales de la estupenda coreografía de Mark Marino con sutileza, un porte real y una sobresaliente ejecución de los difíciles movimientos requeridos. Csiki elevó lo sensual de la coreografía a lo sublime.
Su compañera de baile Ashley Arthur, en años anteriores bailarina del Houston Ballet, no se quedó atrás. La gran versatilidad de sus movimientos sumada a la virtuosidad de sus extensiones y el total dominio del tema coreográfico, la convierten en una de las mejores bailarinas emergentes del mundo de la danza actual.
Un verdadero campeón de la danza es Fred Odgaard. En su solo "Broken Vow" con música de Josh Grobin y coreografía de Marino, Odgaard demostró ser pura perfección. Lo espectacular de sus movimientos, la precisión en la ejecución de encadenamientos y pasos difíciles sumados a la belleza de su presencia escénica lo hacen un bailarín merecedor de medallas de oro.
Tiffany Carroll, Julie Charles, Zach Heller y Crystal Wosik exhibieron muestras de virtuosismo y un conocimiento profundo del estilo y las técnicas utilizadas en las coreografías de su director Mark Marino.
Las gaitas escocesas resonaron en la versión de "Amazing Grace" interpretada por Gordon Highlanders a la que se integró la coreografía acertada y original de la coreógrafa Shelly Stephenson de Portland, Oregon. Este bello solo inicia y termina con el mismo tema locomotivo sobre el piso del que proliferan variaciones de movimiento interpretados sutilmente y con maestría por la coreógrafa/bailarina.
A Lisa K. Lock se le conoce por la creación de solos que sorprenden por ser totalmente diferentes de todo lo que se espera de la danza tradicional y contemporánea. En su solo "Winged" Lock aparece como un ser alado que con sus movimientos ascendentes y descendentes sobre las puntas y su desplazamiento en el escenario, crea imágenes poéticas. Sus movimientos semejan pájaros y criaturas onéricas. Lock bailó con intensidad llevando la danza más allá del límite de las posibilidades.
La coreógrafa y bailarina Margot Mink Colbert, quién interpreto con aplomo, elegancia y precisión el tema musical "Chaconne," un solo para violín de Juan Sebastián Bach y "View," obra experimental que Mink Colbert integra con el "Bolero" de Ravel, interpretado por el quinteto de Django Reinhardt. Una coreógrafa que se identifica plenamente con el grupo de coreógrafos pertenecientes a la Judson Church, Colbert es única en su género. Su obra ha sido clasificada como un trabajo artístico de gran belleza que se sitúa entre la danza moderna, danza posmodernista y ballet.
Susana B. Williams dominó el escenario con una interpretación magistral de "Los Jugadores de Pelota de Xibalbá," que fué presentada por primera vez en los teatros de Guatemala. Con ritmos y movimientos sincopados de la cabeza, manos, pies y cuerpo, integró brillantemente la danza a la intricada composición del percusionista Glen Vélez. A la originalidad de la obra de Williams, se añade una sólida formación clásica y un vasto conocimiento de las técnicas contemporáneas. Con un lenguage propio del movimiento ella expresó con claridad, acierto, sofisticación y belleza el tema esotérico del mito Maya-Quiché.
La profesora, bailarina y coreógrafa Kay Richards presentó un homenaje a Frida Kahlo y a Nina Simone con las coreografías de Sonia Dawkins y Cornelius Carter. En ambos trabajos Richards cautivó al público con una formidable interpretación de ambos temas. Con movimientos lánguidos y percusivos, se apoderó de la escena en la que se trasladaba de los elementos escenográficos a los espacios abiertos. Bailó con dinamismo y gran precisión. La influencia de la danza africana fue latente en los ritmos y coreografía de Dawkins. En su segundo solo, Richards fusionó cuerpo y alma con la música, el tema y lo poético de las canciones de Nina Simone. Sofisticada, humana, bella, la aparición de Richards fue un punto de altura en el programa.
El coreógrafo guatemalteco Antonio Luissi, a la altura de los coreógrafos estadounidenses, mostró un amplio conocimiento de los estilos de danza contemporánea de nuestra época. Con los contundentes ritmos de la música de Jim Mc Grath, Luissi organiza con mucho acierto movimientos de diferentes matices que alterna con estructuras de mucha riqueza y que permiten a sus bailarines realizar una sólida interpretación. Se destacaron Alessandra Zamora Arimany y Alejandro Castro.
Más allá del fervoroso aplauso y los interminables "bravo", el público dejó escapar también la emoción y el gozo frente a este magnífico encuentro con la plena libertad expresiva. En esas tierras mágicas y subyugantes, la danza hizo migas con el embrujo.
Un homenaje a Frida Kahlo y otro a Nina Simone formaron parte de la brillante presentación de la bailarina y coreógrafa Kay Richards. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Here's what the members of the public and press think about "The 23rd International American Choreographers' Showcase."
***** Rated five stars
Joe Nise 14 August 2003
Top notch showcase
Excellent sample of contemporary choreographic talent, very diverse show, especially liked Donderis' DESTINATION, from Spain - not only a sunny place to visit, looks like they've got some dancers.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe reviews/Edinburgh Scotland
The American Choreographers' Showcase
I liked this Showcase because it offered such a diverse grouping of dances it couldn't help but appeal to everyone in the audience. For the modern dance aficionado who sees meaning in spastic, energetic movements, there was the duet "Destination," for the romantic with a knack for creating a back story, the simple, elegant solo "Release" and for those who like dance uncomplicated, the three-part "Going Out" (hand on cheek here, hair in face there, angst! anguish!) that if nothing else, is a remarkable contrast to the other pieces. Two dances of note: "The Wacah Chan" during which Susana Williams evokes a maternal, conjuring goddess and "Perfume de Gardenias" which features a wheelchaired dancer. In all, innovative and accessible.
The Threeweeks Dance Reviews 2003/Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Scotland.
Crítica a la coreografía presentada por Dance-Forms Productions.
Por Rafael Benítez Giralt (Salvadoreño) y Silvia Brugos Zazo (Española).
Coreografía presentada en Edimburgo, Escocia el 15 de agosto de 2002.
Silvia y yo, nos presentamos en un pequeño teatro en la ciudad de Edimburgo para presenciar una de las danzas que más impacto nos ha producido en nuestras vidas. Era de medio día. Entramos en una sala oscura, las sillas estaban muy cerca del escenario, lo cual daba la sensación de que seríamos partícipes de la actuación. Un rayo de luz cortó la oscuridad, el sonido de música moderna con tonos indígenas de Centro América rompió el silencio. El dificultoso ritmo era acompañado esta vez por movimientos que parecían entrecortados y fluidos. Una persona, una mujer, un ritmo, luces y oscuridad eran lo que llenaba en ese momento el sentimiento de la perfección y del equívoco, éste último nunca llegó.
La sensación fue creciendo a medida que un acto seguía al otro. Un hombre. Una mujer. Hombres y mujeres todos en comunicación permanente con su público. Ninguna de las presentaciones se parecía a la otra. Cada una era distinta. Los actores de la danza, mostraron con energía y talento, cómo al mover sus cuerpos se dibujaban los ritmos emitidos por instrumentos extraños. En ese momento, no se podía explicar nuestro deseo de que esos cuerpos, llenos de pasión y belleza, despertasen del sueño cálido y fulgurante de la representación. Todo por una razón: este mundo acelerado y melancólico es así. El éxtasis llegó, sin extravagancia, pero con osadía y desenfreno de lo que sencillamente nos tenía inmóviles en el asiento, con una expresión de asombro.
En la presentación, sin ser expertos en el tema, se conjugan dos elementos básicos a nuestro modo de ver, por un lado, lo que los artistas quieren expresar, y por el otro, las circunstancias reales de cada uno de los espectadores. El punto crítico es el encuentro de ambas variables. La destreza, habilidad, ternura y a la vez profesionalismo de los coreógrafos y bailarines, que se manifestaba en movimientos entrecruzados, lineales, curvos y quebrados, en los cuales nada permanecía, todo era cambiante y fulgurante. Frente a ello, nosotros expectantes del equivoco o del error ausente, ignorantes y a la vez sabios, vivimos la angustia que se nos mostró en una cápsula, que nos llevó a un viaje que resume la vida cotidiana del mundo moderno. Luego al analizar el principio y el fin, la relación de culturas, la indígena centroamericana y la anglosajona del norte, comprende como fluye incesante la humanidad que siempre está en peligro frente a lo material.
Finalmente, el talento y la belleza, no siempre van de la mano, pero en la coreografía que presenta Dance-Forms Productions, simple y sencillamente se conjugan se entremezclan sin vacilación. Es un éxito y un arte que hay que conocer, apreciar y abrir la mente a las nuevas formas de expresión del cuerpo y de la música. ¡Felicitaciones!
"Delightful contemporary dance performance! Debra Noble is an excellent interpreter and Louis A. Kavouras a very talented creator. The final work 'September 11, NYC' by Susana B. Williams, is balanced, energetic, original, looking at times like organic theater."
Roberto Castañeda/Prensa Libre, Guatemala, November 30, 2001
"What is to be admired most is Thought-Forms' commitment to mature artists. Five of the eleven pieces are performed by artists over 40. Morgan Williams's Demons is a powerful mix of graceful fluidity and wildcat frenzy."
Kelly Apter/The Scotsman, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 16, 2001
Unforgettable Night of Dance!
"The remarkable interpretation of the international choreographers was expressed through the admiration and enthusiasm of the audience."
-Norberto Amador/Diario de Xalapa, Veracruz, México, February 2001
"We were fascinated with the creativity and originality of the works presented in The International American Choreographers' Showcase. In particular by those of choreographers Jeffery N. Bullock, Lisa K. Lock, Amelia Rudolph, and Susana B. Williams."
-Mindaugas Armalas/journaliste-Kaunas, Lithuania, June 1999
"The quality and originality of the choreographers' work presented under the direction of SUSANA B. WILLIAMS had a wonderful reception in Festival Off d'Avignon. We truly appreciated their professionalism and were delighted with the programs."
-Georges Golovine, Artistic Director/Theatre de la Danse Golovine-Avignon, France, May 1998
"Such a unique performance. Very enjoyable. Such plasticity. Wonderful dance."
-TV Channel 11-Mexico City, November 1997
"I don't see any good reason why I should moderate my enthusiasm for the American Choreographers Showcase. Technically the performers danced at the very edge of possibility---sometimes, I think beyond what they thought they could do---and with a fullness of being that's rare anywhere, anytime."
-Gankin Alexander, journaliste-Berlin/Festival Off d'Avignon 1997
"The American Choreographers enjoy the difficulty of their brilliant choreography. They have style, they have class. The most remarkable dance performance of Festival Off d'Avignon."
-Nuits d'Ete en Provence/Festival Off d'Avignon 1995
"Kim Olson, the most consistently precise dancer, looked splendid in her solo."
"In Ritual (by S. B. Williams) for instance, one of three female dancers wears a painted mask, helping to define the primal energies propelling the piece forward. The music by Gabrielle Roth & The Mirrors, produced its own calculated effect. The program spoke intelligently, without affectation or wasted movement."
-Andrew Adler/The Courier Journal, Louisville, Kentucky
Woman Champions Choreographers And Boosts Careers.
By Larry Williams
Susana B. Williams, Photo by Larry Williams
Susana B. Williams' passion for creating dances will take the Kentucky resident to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland this August, where she will do what artist love most. Perform! As Director of Dance-Forms Productions, she will showcase the work of an international group of dancers and choreographers -- an effort that has allowed her to organize twenty-four similar events all over the world during the past ten years.
While the festival's crowd marvel at the things to do, Williams will focus on five days of performance, featuring choreographers and dancers from three countries. "There are so many great choreographers who are not being given an opportunity to present their work. I want to do that. I want to give them that chance," said Williams, who started dancing as a child growing up in her native country, Guatemala. She began concentrating on choreography in her twenties.
"I extend an invitation to choreographers who are willing to invest in themselves and who are interested in expanding their knowledge of other cultures, as well as promoting their work abroad. I look for choreographers who see these thrilling events as occasions to benefit their professional development and boost their careers."
A Kentucky resident for twenty-two years, Williams founded Dance-Forms Productions in 1994, producing shows at performing-arts festivals around the world. Choreographers wishing to participate should visit the web site, www.danceformsproductions.com, she advised.
Williams handles most of the details single handedly - coordinating with the festivals, selecting the venues, and choosing the choreographers from the hundreds who apply. Only ten or so are chosen for each of the showcases presented - about three per year. While the emphasis is on modern dance, other forms of contemporary dance also are featured, including classical ballet, jazz, and ethnic styles.
Williams brings "The 26th International Choreographers' Showcase" to Edinburgh from August 10 through August 14. This will be the fourth time the showcase is held in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. "I've long felt that the Edinburgh Festival is a fantastic venue for dance. The response is always wonderful," she said. "I'm excited to integrate my showcase of international contemporary dance with the Fringe."
This year, dancers and choreographers come from as far as Guatemala, the USA, and China, and include winners of celebrated international choreography and dance competitions. Williams will perform her new dance, "Abstractions," exploring the body in relation to space and rhythm. "Choreography allows me to organize events in space and time, while I discover new ways of expressing ideas in movement," she said.
At fifty-five, Williams is as lithe and energetic as any dancer half her age. She learned her first ballet steps shadowing her older sister Brenda, who is also a dancer. At age nine she entered Guatemala's official school of dance and by eleven, she launched her dance career with Ballet Guatemala. "Yeah, for $25 a month," she recalled with a chuckle.
She danced with the company for ten years, honing her craft and earning scholarships with major ballet companies in Mexico, Canada, and with Nina Vyroubova in Paris, France. She performed with Guatemala's Modern and Folklore Dance Company, the Contemporary Dance Company of Xalapa, Mexico, choreographer Gene Hill Sagan of Philadanco, le Centre Culturel de Vitry, in France. In 1978 she co-founded and directed two dance companies in El Salvador, and subsequently took the helm as artistic director of the Modern and Folklore Dance Company of Guatemala in 1980.
Four years later Williams created Thought-Forms Dance Company, a school and performing company, which trained dancers such as Kim Olson, who later became a solo dancer with the acclaimed Stephen Petronio Company. Thought-Forms maintained a grueling schedule, appearing at the Kentucky Center's Bomhard and Boyd Martin Experimental theaters, and many festivals and civic celebrations throughout Kentucky. "One year we did a nine-city tour of the Midwest and even performed in the 7th Saitama International Choreographers' Competition in Japan," Susana said.
As many of her students grew and went off to college, or on to larger dance companies, Williams turned her attention to choreography, and mentoring dance-makers through the challenge of becoming self-producing artist.
She transitioned from a dance company to a production company where she saw a need for showcasing emerging and distinguished choreographers in an international setting. Through her studies and travels she developed a large international network of dancers, teachers and choreographers. She taps this network using her fluency in English, Spanish, and French to engage theaters and coordinate venues worldwide. (She also understands German, Italian, and Portuguese.)
Dance-Forms Productions has delighted international festivals with exciting presentations of contemporary dance. Each showcase is a unique blend of distinguished choreographers and dancers from around the world. Through these artists' professional efforts and dedication to dance, art becomes reality across the globe. The showcase has appeared at prestigious festivals in Austria, France, Germany, Guatemala, Lithuania, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Scotland, Serbia, and the USA.
Recently, she was chosen to be one of only twelve representatives from the United States to sit on the "experts committee," which adjudicated the 2002 Nijinsky Awards for best dancers, choreographers, and dance productions awarded in Monaco on December 14, 2002.
This summer, her attention turns to the upcoming showcase where Williams will spend much of her time at the Roxy Art House at the Edinburgh Festival, making sure everything is in place. "It's very exciting. I love doing this," Williams said, with a sparkle in her eyes. She also looks forward to performing. "I don't think I could be happy without dancing."
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