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    2018-2019 reviews:


    (L-R) Jordan Morley, Esmé Boyce, Dylan Crossman, Amber Sloan in Take Root: Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan
    Photo by video by Valerie Green
    (L-R) Jordan Morley, Esmé Boyce, Dylan Crossman, Amber Sloan

    Words and Dance

    Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan split an evening at Green Space


    Voice. Words. Movement. Phrases. How does poetry work with dance, if dance is physical poetry? Or, how do spoken words work with dance, if dance is unspoken words made physical? These questions seem central to the evening split and shared by Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan, in the latest installment of the Take Root series at Green Space.

    Choreography by: Angharad Davies, Amber Sloan.
    Dancers: Angharad Davies and Alison Moncrief Bromage
    Esmé Boyce, Dylan Crossman, Jordan Morley and Amber Sloan
    Sound design by: Sam Crawford (Amber Sloan).
    Costumes by: Pei-Chi Su (Amber Sloan).
    Lighting design by: Sarazina Stein.
    Green Space
    June 14 and 15, 2019

    The Shadow Itself is a Place is Angharad Davies and Alison Moncrief Bromage's closely danced spoken word collaboration. Their movement is fluid and gestural, and it mostly melts into and blends with the words being spoken. This is surprisingly lulling, with both movement and words drifting together until there are few sharp edges. Each without the other would require our focus, but the movement and words together let us audience absorb more than focus. The title is interesting here, as the dancing feels like the shadow of the words.

    With On the Edge of Normal, silence illuminates every movement. The quartet of Amber Sloan, Dylan Crossman, Esmé Boyce and Jordan Morley begin as a lineup of people that slowly melts together. This in itself is vaguely fascinating, both for the subtle shifts of weight that cause slow-motion chaos and for the determined recoveries that bring the lineup back into place. Eventually slow-motion chaos wins and people begin to fly apart. The four seem magnetically attracted, though, so separations are usually hard fought or imperfect. Clumps are more the norm than solos, then pairs form, then all four take phrases in turn, in improvised and well organized chaos.

    Alison Moncrief Bromage and Angharad Davies in Take Root: Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan  
    Photo by video by Valerie Green  
    Alison Moncrief Bromage and Angharad Davies
    The juxtaposition of this piece with the first becomes even more clear when words enter the Edge, toward the end. In both Shadow and Edge, words serve as movement glue, but on the edge of normal, words are used sparsely and quietly to prevent collisions and actual chaos. Here, words are really shadows or even vestiges of movement, as each spoken letter or name refers to a movement phrase, in well-rehearsed code.

    On the Edge of Normal in Take Root: Angharad Davies and Amber Sloan
    Photo by video by Valerie Green
    On the Edge of Normal

    But, really, On the Edge of Normal stays riveting because each performer is riveting, and together they are even better. They clearly trust and rely on each other and invest a lot of energy and commitment to make this happen. At its core, Edge is contact improvisation or simply contact, where weighting and intelligent connections rule, and trust is the best currency.

    Still, it's a treat to watch Jordan Morley end the evening — after each of the other dancers has had their last large burst of movement before exiting — with paroxysms of energy.

    JUNE 22, 2019

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