DANCE/Strasser leaves lasting impression
As the semester comes to a close, Brockport’s Dance Department energizes the campus with student choreography. This weekend was host to the Fall DANCE/Strasser concert. This annual show gives choreographers and dancers the challenge of presenting work in a three-sided performance space while also testing the audience’s idea of what “front” means.
Senior Skyler Bell opened the show with her trio “The Comfort Of…” danced by senior Jaclyn Devore and juniors Gina Curbelo and Meghan Mariotti. Black dresses swung on their bodies as they moved across the darkly lit space. Bell switched between unison to solos and duets in a seamless fashion.
A sharp change in attending to movement came when junior Mia Martelli walked onto a brightly lit stage for her solo “Avia.” Martelli emphasized a mechanical body in her metallic wonderland. The audience was guided blindfolded into the world Martelli understood so colorfully, translating to the viewers through gestural sensations.
“‘Avia’ is about all things inorganic: metallic colors and textures, mathematical descriptions of the space, and electric sounds,” Martelli said. “But, through the process of performing this piece, I’ve realized I can’t escape the organic quality of being human. I have to express the reactions I have to experiencing these colors, textures, shapes, and sounds.”
Will Dillard-Jackson created a new sensory layer with his piece “Mourner’s Gathering.” The dance transitioned from an opening image of sophomore Owen Edwards dancing through the words of a group of dancers singing behind him. Movement transitioned out of this scene into impressive physical tableaus.
“Link/Sink/Sync” by junior Emilia Bunich was an amorphic puzzle displayed by Bunich and senior Maleni Cruz. They demonstrated collapsing and recovering into a blank stare and architectural body. Bunich and Cruz powered through a mesmerizing dance showcasing smart composition.
“I-CE SHADOW,” junior Chiquita Limer’s thesis took the stage next. Live music accompanied the dancers through movements that were reminiscent of figure skating. A white sheet flowed through with the dancers, becoming a movable wall to project Limer figure skating.
“Breathe and Receive” was choreographed by junior Gina Curbelo. Her piece opened to a striking tableau of eight women. They indulgently moved through the choreography of “Strange Fruit” by Nina Simone. Curbelo coached her dancers into creating a vulnerable performance experience within DANCE/Strasser.
Junior Jiali Wang, quirkily shifted the show with her work “A Cock Chaos (Jiali’s Dadism).” Wang and her dancers outlined the space with walking into traps of intriguing gestures. A kaleidoscopic world transcended the audience into a structure of gestural motions with a machine-like physicality.
A large group of women struck the stage next. Junior Carissa Bishop’s “composing dissolution” had a stream-like flow of bodies and a vocabulary of gestures that morphed into lifts, unison runs, leaps and a captivating force that only a large number of bodies on stage creates.
The closer of the show was sophomore Maddie Kurtz’s trio “We Are All A Star.” Junior Dutch DeCarvalho and sophomore Rebecca Oberstadt danced to the sound score of a female dance competition judge. The voice highlighted the parallels and contrasts to competition dance that Kurtz stitched into her movement.
“As an adjudicator for one of the nation’s largest dance competitions, I have questions surrounding how we talk about concert dance versus commercial dance,” Kurtz said.
As the dance seemed to come to a close, senior Alexis Cordella took off her shoes and flung herself on stage, becoming the competition judge. Cordella started to groove and live in her stardom as DeCarvalho and Oberstadt glared at her in the corner.
DANCE/Strasser marked the end to a creative semester in the Department of Dance.
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