Performing Arts: Dance
March 23, 2014
Montreal’s RUBBERBANDance Group, presented the 70 minute “Empirical Quotient,” at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University. The company comprised of 6 dancers (3 male and 3 female), is an energetic, and talented collective. Led by choreographer Victor Quijada, the company explores it’s “unique style of movement,” combining elements of classical, contemporary, and urban dance.

Dancers flock the stage, stretching and warming up. The voice of the stage manager echoes from the sound and light booth. He calls places and gives lighting cues. Throughout the piece his voice is heard, “shit, shit,” he says as the house lights fail to dim. At another point he describes the moment a light shines on a dancer- “she does a weird thing with her arms.” She responds, “we can hear you.”

Huddling in a circle, the dancers stretch out, arms still linked, into a line. They fold in and out of each other, fluid with every movement and meticulous with each touch. Everything is reactionary. One dancer’s movements send a ripple effect throughout the group. A hand placed to a chest, causes the touched area to retract. Choreographically it’s layered with a loose structure. Paired with the operatic mixes of Jasper Gahunia, you feel as though you’re watching underwater, time is thick, movement is luscious yet you are unable to take a breathe.

Humor continues to be laced throughout- at one point the dancer Zachary Tang, emotionally leaves his complex duet, to flash a smile and a wink towards the audience. This element falls a little flat and doesn’t help to change the singular plane of the piece. Undoubtedly, this group is promising, yet much of the work delivered one dynamic, one energy, with no peak. It’s impressive that these dancers are not only technically skilled but can flip into break dance movement instantly. The headstands become tiresome though, and we crave a shift.

Aiding the group to find this change is the dynamite Lea Ved. She comes closest in establishing an arc of presence and motion. The shortest of the group, she appears tall and domineering. At one point Ved clicks her teeth to direct the gentlemen, all huddled together, out of her space. Rightfully so, Lea Ved deserves the stage alone.
EYE ON THE ARTS,, NY -- Bailey Moon

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