March 30, 2015
Juilliard Dance presented their repertory 2015 show at the Peter Jay
Sharp Theater. The program consisted of two intense and focused pieces. From
Martha Graham “Dark Meadow,” and Merce Cunningham “Biped.”
Originally premiering in 1946, Graham’s “Dark Meadow,” is long and drawn out.
Danced lushly by a cast of 12, much of the piece has a precise rhythm, with internal
breaks interpreted by the dancers. Incongruous but strangely fitting music from
Caesar Chavez, seals this multifaceted wonder into its own shell.
Keeping a strong
weight and warmth center stage is the “One Who Seeks,” danced solidly by Tiare
Keeno. Jeffery Duffy as “He Who Summons,” also does a fine job at taking Grahams
staccato and jarred movements and making them fluid and life like. Intense focus
from the ensemble creates striking images, as they jump onto stage, delicately
cupped hands, and laser like precision with each step.
Isamu Noguchi’s set is
minimalist but distracting. The use of symbols and props point too much to meaning
instead of a “place of experience,” that Graham intended the meadow to be.
Cunningham’s “Biped,” remarkable for it’s time (1999) remains relevant in today's
technological climate. Various dancers enter the stage, striking off balance poses and
mismatched arms during solos as the floor lights square spaces and filters in and
A scrim stands in front, projecting large digitized dancers performing
harmonious movement in conjunction with the live dancers on stage. Shimmery
gray and sparkled biketards garb the dancers, and half way through silken jackets
cover their upper bodies. They group into small divisions, each step or combination
has a ballet formality with a textured twist. For instance, a dancer strikes a
balletic arabesque, before ducking her head and flying into the arms of fellow
dancers that catch her and lead her off stage.
The ravishing Amelia Sturt-Dilley
closes with stirring solo, at once technical and opaque. She has a firm grasp on the
content and is delicate and assured in each movement. As the multiple divisions of
elements crowds the performance stage, the vision of formality and direction
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Bailey Moon