There’s been a definite maturation since ACW Dances’ last concert in the fall.
The dancers seem even better coordinated and confident; the choreography—sometimes by artistic director Abigail Wallace alone, sometimes with other dancers, and sometimes by other members of the troupe—seems more developed and willing to take even more changes than before.
The athletic nature of the choreography continues to be a hallmark of ACW Dance performances, but it seemed that in this latest recital—entitled Revisions and Extrapolations—it also has introduced a stronger erotic element. By that I mean something subtle, not in-your-face.
ACW Dances offers not only bare feet but also bare emotions.
This eroticism was evident in the opening piece, “Into the Veldt,” with music by Cristian Trejo and choreography by Elizabeth Naro. (The cast I saw Thursday was Kerry Doyle, Jessica Rahter, Abigail Wallace, and Rachel Zappala.)
Another hallmark of ACW Dances is the exploration of dynamic partnerships, in multiple ways. You can see hostility, ambiguity, competitiveness, and also affection in these pieces. But it seemed to me as well that Wallace and her fellow choreographers this time used more lifting and intermingling of bodies. Again, this might be part of the greater “eroticism” of the partnerships.
Solo Suites No. 1 and Solo Suites No. 2—both enjoying their premieres this production—highlighted the talents of Elizabeth Naro and Paula Giammarco in the first case, and of Kerry Doyle and Abigail Wallace in the second.
On the other hand, the longer pieces, such as “The Red Queen’s Hypothesis (an excerpt),” inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and “Scratch the Filling,” also a premiere, offer greater numbers of dancers and more complicated dynamic partnerships. The former features Kerry Doyle, Ayelet Haran, Paula Giammarco, and Elizabeth Naro, and the latter, they plus Wallace and Rachel Zappala dance.
Audiences at the opening performance (Thursday, April 16) and the others to come were also given an extra treat in the form of the Guest Choreographer’s Collaboration Project of Alexandria, guest artists, which performed “Now” (“Structured Improvisation”). It was fun to see a man among the dancers—and I’m wondering if that’s something Ms. Wallace would consider.
Not that the women in ACW Dances aren’t strong on their own. One of the beauties of modern dance is that different body types and styles are not only accommodated but welcomed. Wallace and her fellow troupe member choreographers are to be commended for using everyone’s strengths to the fullest and collaboratively.
I missed the connecting theme of the pieces in the fall concert. But that’s compensated for by even-stronger quality. ACW Dances offers not only bare feet but also bare emotions.
Elliot Lanes is lighting designer and stage manager. His lighting associates are David Ramsay and Kevin Laughon. Colleen Siler is assistant stage manager.
AWC, a sponsored project by Fractured Atlas, a 501©(3) based in New York City, aims to engage with the metro-DC community through performance, workshops, and collaborative projects.
That interactive goal is definitely palpable; the audience is very much a part of ACW Dances’ performances, and Wallace takes the time to comment (and sometimes lead a discussion) after every performance and to introduce her dancers for individual applause and recognition.
It was delightful to welcome the addition of Rachel Zappala and Jessica Rahter to the troupe. Rahter, in particular, brought the grace of her ballet training to the production.
Running Time: 70 minutes with one 10-minute intermission.
Revisions and Extrapolations runs through April 19th 2015 at the Gunston Black Box Theater (Theater II) at 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington. For tickets, call 856-375-3650 or click here.