Part and Parcel – A Performance Duo by DancEthos and Word Dance Theater

With a scarf to tempt Isadora herself, Cynthia Word gracefully wafted across the stage opening a two company performance that featured the works of Word Dance Theater and DancEthos. “Part and Parcel” was staged at Dance Place on June 23rd and 24th.

Word Dance Theater (Photo Credit: Stephen Baranovics)

Word Dance Theater preserves the works of Isadora Duncan and creates original works inspired by the Duncan technique. It’s disorienting to take in the intense operatic scores and head-wrapped women without knowing that Isadora was greatly influenced by her time spent in the Soviet Union. Duncan’s work can be very internal and the dances often felt far off despite the black box feel of Dance Place.

The stage was back-dropped by images that reflected the mood of each piece. They were purposeful while not being distracting. Each flowing crepe fabric dress billowed around the dancers’ form, adding dimension and femininity to their strong shapes. Pianist Carlos César Rodríguez superbly executed every violent piano score and each delicate Chopin piece.

With little pause between works, Word Dance Theater presented nine pieces that transitioned seamlessly between each other. In “Dubinishka,” the dancers flocked gracefully as one, banking and straining to pull invisible giant taffy. Scarves in hand, the dancers transformed into warrior-like Rosie-the-Riveters. In “Revolutionary Etude,” Hannah Goldberg gave the dusty work a fresh level of intention. Seeming to dance for life itself, Goldberg put a driving fury behind each dragging and diving motion.

It’s rare to see works that could be coined with such a description as “original,” but DancEthos presented a diverse array of works that poked at such an acclaim.

DancEthos (Photo Credit: Amanda Kilgour)

In Carolyn Kamrath’s “Incessant,” three dancers lay belly-up, flopping and spasming in timed spurts. The traveling moments were limp and uncontrolled, yet phrased in patterns that created a cryptic beauty. The play on controlled and spastic motion imitated the tremors and instability of Parkinsons patients. The wind in the background was like an incessant white noise, drowning out the waves of raspy French music.

In “Matriculate,” choreographer and poet Matthew Bennett fueled the movement phrases with his vocal nuances. The pedestrian-like dancers created family relationships – mother to daughter and father to daughter – that showed defiance on the part of the children and self-sacrifice on the part of the parents. Bennett begged the audience to love and cherish their families or end up “graveside and holding nothing but what we wouldn’t say.”

A picture frame dictates where to look, but in “Framework,” choreographer Vladimir Angelov drove the focus to everything beyond. The black-dressed dancer created an impassioned Disney-like fairytale of a picture-frame girl come to life. She freed herself from her two-dimensional cell. Liberated but vulnerable, she gradually retreated to her frame but closed with one arm reaching away and the other holding the empty frame out to her side. Even when we want to escape, we can’t let go of the things that hold us up.


danceDC Weekend Event Guide 11/19-11/21

Living, Breathing, Human OrganismLots of events going on this weekend – workshops, performances and auditions. Tonight, make your way to College Park to see Faces of 7 Deadly Sins featuring guest performances from Big League Crew, GnC and Tito BoyScouts. Also support Baltimore Dance Crews Project at the SLAM 3rd Annual Hip Hop Show in Baltimore.

Saturday, three dance companies – DancEthos, Bettmann Dances and Choreographers Collaboration Project – come together to present a full night of dance at Joe’s Movement Emporium and Contradiction Dance (picture on left) has their final performance of Living, Breathing, Human Organism at The Round House Theatre.



Friday, November 19th

  • 7pm: FCA, KSA, CSA presents Faces of 7 Deadly Sins with guest performances by Big League Crew, GnC and Tito BoyScouts at UMD College Park STAMP Grand Ballroom
  • 7:30pm: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The Kennedy Center
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm: The Washington Ballet and Urban Artistry Hip Hop Jam at The ARC
  • 8pm: Contradiction Dance Presents Living, Breathing, Human Organism at Round House Theatre (Silver Spring)
  • 8pm: SLAM 3rd Annual Hip Hop Show BDCP Benefit Dance Show at Johns Hopkins University Shriver Hall (Baltimore)

Saturday, November 20th

  • 11am-3pm: Baltimore Dance Crews Project presents Dance 4 B’more at Patterson Park Public Charter School (Baltimore)
  • 1:30pm: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The Kennedy Center
  • 4pm-10pm: Top Notch 2 Two vs Two B-Boy/B-Girl Battle at U Street Music Hall
  • 7pm: Dhol Baje Folk Dances of India at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre One (Arlington)
  • 7:30pm: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The Kennedy Center
  • 8pm: Contradiction Dance Presents Living, Breathing, Human Organism at Round House Theatre (Silver Spring)
  • 8pm: DancEthos, Bettmann Dances & Choreographers Collaboration Project at Joe’s Movement Emporium (Mount Rainier)
  • 8pm: Jane Franklin Dance presents Pete and Repeat: Done Before Dances at Wooly Mammoth Theatre
  • 8pm: Lesole’s Dance Project at Dance Place

Sunday, November 21st

  • 1:30pm: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The Kennedy Center
  • 2pm: Jane Franklin Dance presents Pete and Repeat: Done Before Dances at Wooly Mammoth Theatre
  • 4pm: Lesole’s Dance Project at Dance Place
  • 4pm: Silk Road Dance Company Auditions at Joy of Motion/Bethesda
  • 7:30pm: The Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The Kennedy Center

Choreographers Collaboration Project Fall Concert

The Choreographers Collaboration Project (CCP) presents its fall concert this Saturday, November 6th at The Athenaeum in Alexandria. In addition to showcasing various works-in-progress and incorporating improvisation, CCP welcomes new modern dance company DancEthos as a special guest. Read what CCP member Lisa Torphy had to say about the Choreographers Collaboration Project and its upcoming show.

CCPTell me about Choreographers Collaboration Project and its members. Who is CCP?

Choreographers Collaboration Project (CCP) started in 1998 by Mary Jo Smet and Janet Stormes with a persistent idea and the desire to choreograph again. We currently have 10 dancers and choreographers and span four decades age-wise (20s-50s). Outside of the studio, we do a little bit of everything. We currently have two Federal government employees, one physical education teacher, two dance/Pilates instructors, one producer, one county employee, one non-profit employee, and two PR professionals – all joined together by the love of dance.

It says that you’ll do some improvisations with the help of the audience. Can you go into more detail without giving anything away?

For our Fall concert, we will do two improvisations. First, we will open the concert with an improv that will use the entire gallery, including the area where the audience is seated. During this improv, the dancers will build on individual shapes of the other dancers to create “vignettes” that are formed and then dissolve as dancers enter and leave the space. We are calling the second improve “Build a Dance.” The audience will choose the music, number of dancers, a prop and we will create the movement.

What can audience members who have never seen CCP before expect from the Fall Concert? What about people who have seen you before?

The Fall concert will be unique since we will perform in an intimate gallery setting with dance works created to fit the space. Choreographers chose smaller groups (duets, trios, quartets) and many are works-in-progress. We love the space at The Athenaeum because it is informal and allows the audience to be close to the dancers.

What made you want to work with DancEthos? How would you describe their style in comparison with yours?

CCP has always been about collaboration and creating connections between artists. We think this broadens the experience for our audience who knows us well and it is always inspiring to perform with other dance companies. We found out about DancEthos because one of our members, Silvia, teaches with Tiffany Haughn, the founder of DancEthos. We thought it would be great for both companies to perform at each other’s fall concerts to reach new audiences (CCP will be performing one piece at their November 20th concert at Joe’s Movement Emporium). We think they were interested in our spirit of collaboration and willingness to always try something new.

The Deets

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