CityDance Ensemble presents Hold Your Breath Until the End

Friday night, I made my way to the Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring for CityDance Ensemble’s Hold Your Breath Until the End. It was a night of premieres for the contemporary dance company with new choreography from Christopher K. Morgan, Gregory Dolbashian, Loni Landon and Artistic Director and Co-Founder Paul Gordon Emerson. According to Emerson who greeted the audience prior to the performance, the Cultural Arts Center at Silver Spring is a remarkable space that is finding its footing in the dance community. He was excited to bring the company to the stage and especially thrilled to create choreography with this specific space in mind.

CityDanceThe show started out with Roger & Lucie, a piece choreographed by Ludovic Jolivet and first presented in 1999. Jason Garcia Ignacio performed the endearing piece as a lonely janitor flirting and dancing with his mop Lucie LaFrange. The second and final piece of the first half was Christopher K. Morgan’s Limited Visibility, part one of an evening-length work. Limited Visibility was my favorite piece of the show. It was visually stunning, exciting and creative. Three different level tables provided separate stages for dancers to jump off of in a daring fashion. A variety of lights cast giant shadows on the Cultural Arts Center’s cement walls. Dancers stripping down to their skivvies, a male solo in heels and writing on the body with marker added to the work’s element of surprise. The piece challenged the audience to ponder the question ‘What are the things we hide from public view?’ and gave a glimpse as to what possible answers could be.

The second half included two premiere duets: Hold Your Breath Until the End choreographed by Greogory Dolbashian featuring dancers Jason Garcia Ignacio and Robert Priore and You Go First choreographed by Loni Landon featuring dancers Giselle Alvarez and Kathryn Pilkington. The second half concluded with the world premiere of Conversations With My Father, a group effort with choreography from Emerson and several of the company’s dancers. The mix of music went from radio static to funeral like organ music to the theme song of the video game Super Mario Brothers. The Super Mario Brothers part of the piece was my favorite. It was playful and unexpected and for a lack of a better example, reminded me of that McDonald’s commercial that features hand dancing from Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding.

If you’re interested in seeing the show, sorry you’re out of luck. It ended this past Sunday. But the company has a great YouTube page you can check out that includes videos of Hold Your Breath Until the End promos and footage from rehearsals. For more information about CityDance Ensemble, visit their website.

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About Cecile
Cecile Oreste is an arts marketing and public relations professional living in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @cecileoreste.

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