Performing Arts: Dance
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 out.

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 becomes clear.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Bailey Moon

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