THE ART OF ISADORA
June 20, 2017
Performing at The Joyce Theatre in a gala to celebrate Isadora Duncan’s 140th birthday,
Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company danced 13 works: one (Ode to Joy / Morricone) choreographed by Belilove and one (Narcissus by Chopin, Op 64, No 2) performed by Guest Artist Sara Mearns, Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet. Belilove is undaunted by challenges. She has been carrying on the legacy of Isadora, a complicated artist whose diary, and subsequent essays, books, movies, and countless would-be Isadoras competing for attention, have stoked the imagination of the public. She has toured the world with her company since 1980. Affirming her free-spirit, she shared the stage for this event not only with the ghost of Duncan, but Mearns whose sensuality is breathtaking.
All the dances by Isadora are singular and yet have much in common: the barefoot skips, arms floating high as though submerged, gossamer costumes, and the musical obeisance. In Narcissus, an asymmetrical shoulder roll on the right lifts the left arm, a repeated gesture that Mearns made with an inhale as though she was kissed on the neck. She doesn’t swoon so much as savor the moment, as only a hedonist could.
Belilove has a commanding presence, her lithe frame clearly expressing the emotional waves of each choreography. Each member of her company has captured her approach, her clear dynamic changes, and ease; with one standout: Hayley Rose Brashear whose solo performance of Moment Musical by Schubert was particularly memorable. The Dance of the Furies by C.W. Gluck with its second position clawing of the air, leaps, and red dresses for 6 dancers feels the most contemporary, given our current political rage and frustration.
Featured in the gala were: Nikki Poulos, Emily D’Angelo, Faith Kimberling, Hayley Rose Brasher, Caroline Yamada, Emma Pajewski, Mariel Harris, Becky Allen; as well as the Young Duncan Dancers: Baelee Glasgow, Gloria Hernandez, Madoka Saimaru, Zoe Cardona, Lia Chung, Jackie Harrington, Elaine Huang, Christina Nanos, Jia Navarette, Isabella Offerman, Ever Sun, and Addison Wong.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers