October 29, 2013 Leave a comment
By Alexis M. Thomas
Progressive. Passionate. Evocative. Three of the many ways you can describe MOVEIUS Contemporary Ballet Company.
This is just a tease. A taste. Of what to expect from MOVEIUS in its production, “Locally Grown,” this upcoming Saturday, November 2nd, 2013, at the Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center. The Company, which has been performing to sold out shows in the D.C. area since 2010, has decided to make Montgomery County its permanent home. So the upcoming production is a housewarming party of sorts.
And there is plenty on the menu. For example, there is Big River, where a group of classically trained ballet dancers dance to Johnny Cash music. The juxtaposition between classical ballet and other contemporary art forms is clear from the start and instantly hooks the viewer. The light ascends as the dancers shake their hips to the earthiness of Cash’s voice. And the surprises keep coming. The dancers, in blue jeans, perform classic ballet moves with perfect form and clean lines on pointe, but also repeatedly descend to the floor through hinges and rolls normally associated with modern dance forms. With creative groupings of dancers and canons of movement expertly placed throughout the piece, the dancers eat the space at all levels, continually keeping the viewer wanting more. This piece has wowed audiences in the past and is sure to do so again.
With Invisible Steps, which will have its debut on Saturday, the viewer cannot help but be affected by this thought-provoking piece. A lone female dancer begins to move to live guitar music and people speaking in French. A male dancer soon joins her. The merge of the easygoing melody of the guitar against the quiet intensity of the voices is not only unusual, but instantly captivating. As they dance there is a fluidity and subtle swaying quality to their movements that echoes the tranquil melody of the guitar. As they move together with grace and in perfect harmony, you get this sense of not only connection but of separateness, as they dance more apart than together. As other dancers begin to sporadically move across the space around the two dancers with the same gentle quality, the viewer is enveloped in a feeling of intimacy without actual touching. The fact that many will not understand what is being said in French only heightens the intensity of the piece, as the viewer is beckoned not only to think about how all of the elements of the piece work together, but of his or her connection to the piece itself. For me, the piece made me think of the invisible steps everyone must take to become more connected to others while maintaining one’s own voice. What would your perception be?
In addition to these pieces, the Company will premiere other works as well as re-stage the piece, Nocturne I, by Eric Hampton, a renowned Washingtonian ballet dancer and choreographer, who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2001. The piece has not been staged in the D.C. area since 2000.
In the face of political turbulence and fledgling economies, the need to support artists who will pursue their dreams with passionate conviction despite all of the odds is stronger than ever. The need to hold sacred the healing and transformative qualities of dance is stronger than ever. And this is what MOVEIUS provides – a space to enjoy beauty, take a breath, become restored through movement, and remember than anything that can be dreamed of is possible. So whether you are a Johnny Cash fan, a ballet fan, a contemporary dance fan, a lover of the arts in general, or simply an altruist who believes in supporting talent and passion, MOVEIUS has something to offer you.
With two shows being offered this upcoming Saturday, November 2nd, at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., there is no excuse not to be there. Come see for yourself. You will not be disappointed.