Here's my review of last night's Cedar Lake performance, which should be up on ExploreDance soon.
I wrote in a rush this afternoon but what can you do...
Also see Philip's writing on it here (which I have yet to read myself since I had to get mine done...).
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has once again transformed their Chelsea space into a traditional theater for their Spring Season after their eccentric “Glassy Essence” installation removed audience boundaries last month. Yet this program is anything but traditional.
Nicolo Fonte’s “Lasting Imprint” is a play with silence. Several people dance some secret code of alternately sharp and continuous movements. In groups they pit phrases against each other, only to the beat of their breath. Then red light flashes. Violins eek. And the pace quickens with the contained language where their hands hold a magic power that reverberates in their bodies as they swipe down their fronts often.
Jason Kittelberger appears later with white paint splattered across his head and chest. From the front row it appears as if the harsh lighting creates the effect, but soon he wipes his covered face around the lovely Jessica Coleman Scott, head stroking her back to leave paint. Maybe this is the imprint that was supposed to last, but the piece might have sufficed with a further exploration of the imprint of Steve Reich’s music on silence rather than that of gunk on splotchy costumes.
Based on the Catholic symbolization of the Virgin Mary, “Annonciation,” a duet for Jessica Lee Keller and Acacia Schacte (on Monday), is equal in intensity. The floor that was white for the opening piece is now stripped down to a vibrant red, matching the fire inside each girl. Choreographer Angelin Preljocaj blends the signature movement quality of the company – boneless, fluid, powerful – with periods of robotic gestures. They rigidly connect the dots in the air before melting into a sensual head on shoulder moment that leads to a kiss. The moment is powerful, but largely thanks to the rumbling build up of the music and lighting.
To finish the evening on a high note (very high for those enjoying the champagne reception for all at each intermission in celebration of opening night) was the premiere of Jo Stromgren’s “Sunday, Again.” The piece features the full company in a series of large groups and duets centered around a badminton match that was never actually played. The sport can be boring to watch, but this humorous work is not at all! Frequently a tousled net is dragged on, and birdies galore toss around.
At one point Harumi Terayama sits in a chair as popping noises are made backstage. A white sphere forms at her mouth. Bubble gum? No, the head of a birdie that she soon reveals. Jubal Battisti chases her in a teasing game of “you can’t catch this.” Their playfulness is wonderful.
And then there are the sexual moments, where Scott passionately reaches into Ana-Maria Lucaciu’s white pants. To pull out a birdie.
Amongst the chaos of heated friendships and relationships surrounding badminton opponents is a truly witty piece of dance that lightens Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet’s spring program. It’s worth the laugh.