For the past two weekends, dancers have been using the stage of Knickerbocker Theatre as a canvas.
While they didn’t actually create using paint, they brought artwork to life through movement. On March 2-3 and 8-10, Dance 44 students performed their show called “A Gallery of Artists.” The show was appropriately titled, since the pieces performed were inspired by the artists René Magritte, Antonio Canova, Fernando Garrido, Roy Lichtenstein, M.H. Pachnowski and Baroness Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven.
The first set of dances included a couple of group pieces, a duet and two solos. Inspired by the artwork of Magritte, the set featured the different weather images and famous bowler hats found in his photographs and paintings. It also explored the variety of emotions found in his work.
“The Three Graces” featured ballet dancers, which seemed perfect for the sculpture they were bringing to life. They each embodied grace while bringing out the slight differences in each character in the sculpture they had been inspired by.
Based on the artwork of Fernando Garrido, the third dance was equally unique to the artist’s work. The combination of movements and music was haunting, which coordinated well with the images presented in Garrido’s work. The dancers wore red gloves, and they often put their hands above their heads, mimicking the hats in Garrido’s paintings.
The piece called “Behind the Dots” was definitely an audience favorite with its 60s theme. The dancers used interesting props like picture frames and telephones to explore 60s women as portrayed in Lichtenstein’s artwork.
“Holy Skirts” also looked at similar ideas of women’s empowerment as inspired by Baroness Von Freytag-Loringhoven.
Receiving by far the loudest applause of the whole night, “glss” was the highlight of the show. It began with the dancers’ shadows projected onto a screen, involving technology in a unique way as the dancers interacted with the images.
The piece also looked at gender differences, as the dancers performed in different ways according to the stereotypical colors (blue and pink) put on the screen.
As the piece progressed, though, the lines were blurred between styles of dance until the screen came up. It was then revealed that all four dancers were women, but their style remained non-gendered. The variety of energy levels and the clearly advanced dance style left the audience very impressed.
Through their talented movements, the whole Dance 44 company created an experience for their audience and communicated the ideas found in two-dimensional art in a three-dimensional way.