|The Company of Smuin’s Poetry of Being|
The theatricality of the evening now on the stage in Smuin’s Dance Series 02 is as indisputable as the beauty, athleticism, and wonder of its three, one-act dances. Each tells a story — even without script and words — that mesmerizes, excites, and thrills as the progression from classical beauty to contemporary leaps and rolls to a recent yesterday’s scenes of love, protest, and escape magically passes before us. Even for a dance novice as myself, there is no doubt but that this conclusion to Smuin’s 23rd season with its two world premieres and one revival is one that will delight both the first-time goer and the season subscriber with its creativity in choreography, eye-popping qualities in production, and jaw-dropping excellence in dance execution.
|Benjamin Warner & Terez Dean|
The sense of joy in this world-premiere Poetry of Being (choreographed by Nicole Haskins) is particularly felt in the dazzling feature of Terez Dean and Benjamin Warner as in the second movement they appear amongst a receding line of eight other dancers – backs now to the audience. Their waltz-like movements contrast with sudden separations and then rushes yet again to entangle and pause in their sculpture of twisted, twirling limbs. The reversal of costume colors as the two come back in the original, vibrant blue at the curtain’s close amidst the sea of flesh worn now by the rest is arresting.
|Ben Needham-Wood, Rachel Furst & Jonathan Powell|
|Jonathan Powell, Terez Dean & Michael Wells|
But it is perhaps the evening’s third installment that audience members will leave most remembering and more than likely telling friends, “You must not missing seeing …”. An opening video by Trey McIntyre takes us back to the Summer of Love of fifty years past as we see and hear reminders of hippie gatherings of free love and many drugs, civil rights protests, the horrors of Vietnam, and the threats of a nuclear cloud descending upon us all. The final images of nuclear tests morph into a giant ice cream cone that becomes the center piece of a clever, fun scenic design by Sandra Woodall – the scoop of which will continue to serve as a video screen for further projections of the era as the world premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Be Here Now begins.
|Jonathan Powell & Members of Be Here Now|
Bodies come together to support a comrade’s sudden leap or blind fall from nowhere – only to lift, sway, and circle the caught body and then to pass it on as another focus captures the group’s attention. The playfulness of those who are looking to escape the awful realities of war and injustice is particularly played out by a giant, inflated ‘dough boy’ that dances among the gathered group of hippie friends, with its own twists and turns a wonder to watch.
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