Sunday, April 14, 2013

George Mason Dance Company 2013 Spring Gala (unofficial review)

A few weeks ago, I went with my mom and one of my friends to the George Mason Spring Gala. The associate director of our studio works there, and invited us to go and watch a performance. Up til then, I had  heard a lot about the school and its dance program, but I had never seen them perform, so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but they blew me out of the water!
I was absolutely shocked. Again, I am a total bunhead, and this was all modern dance, but I loved almost every minute of it. Almost.

The first piece they performed was Consumed. It was supposed to be about today's working class and their struggle to understand a global economy, or something like that. Well, I'm 16. The friend I took was 13. The topic of this dance went totally over our heads, and to be honest, I think it went over most of the dancers' heads, too. Maybe it's just because I didn't really understand the concept, but while I saw struggle and working class, I never fully got the whole global-economy thing. 
The first minute and 30 seconds or so was a solo, with acapella, screamy music(maybe with a drumbeat or two). She did great, and I could the technicality of the movements and the emotion behind them, but her costume was very distracting. She was wearing a suit with a sport-coat type thing over it, and it kept flapping all over the place when she would roll or turn. The second part was a group of maybe 10 people, in the same costume. I have to admit that it looked great on the group, because when they turned you could see the white shirts and the coat would open up, but when they had their backs to the audience, it was just a black coat. The dancing in this whole piece was great, but at the very end they left the entire audience confused when the first girl came on again wearing only a bra and booty shorts(?).
There was a duet called Berceuse that came afterwards, and to be honest it didn't really give me much of a lasting impression. It was good, but I think it lacked passion or something a little bit stronger. I don't know, it just didn't really stand out.
 The picture above shows my favorite piece, Topos. It was amazing. It was just balletic enough to satisfy me, but it was still decidedly modern. It was happy and it looked exhausting, but none of the dancers showed it. all of the movement seemed perfectly fitting to the music, and it was almost like they were accidentally dancing. I don't know why that struck me, but it did, and I loved how it looked. This piece was choreographed by William Smith III, a George mason alumnus, and he was actually sitting in the audience about 5 seats down from where we were. I would have loved to talk to him during the intermission, but unfortunately, several other people had the same idea.
The first piece after the intermission was Lareigne, a weird 90s-techno music piece with strange costumes and impossible looking choreography. For the first 2 minutes it was really neat. But it went on for about 5 more minutes after that, and I got kind of bored. So did my mom. As a dancer/choreographer, your job is to entertain the audience, which in this case happened to be mostly non-dancers. If they're falling asleep, you're not doing you job correctly.
The very last piece was about the rebuilding of the New Orleans community after hurricane Katrina. New Second Line was choreographed and first performed in 2006, so it was a pretty old piece. The music was very loud and Cajun, but very appealing to the ear. There were picture on the backdrop of New Orleans and damage that the hurricane caused. I couldn't find footage of any of the other pieces, but I managed to find this one. The video is from 2006, I believe, and it is slightly different from the one I saw performed. There were no props in the one I watched, and I think the staging was slightly different, because there were definitely more people in it. But the movement style and choreography are the same, and you can still see the images on the backdrop.
Thanks for reading, please come back next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment