Review – Moments by Kun-Yang Lin and Dancers

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photo credit: Frank Bicking

By Chelsea Hamilton for The Dance Journal

Artistic Director Kun-Yang Lin and Executive Director Rev. Ken Metzner stood in the lobby of the beautifully historical Prince Theater and personally greeted each and every guest attending their company’s newest production: Moment/s.

The evening-length performance kicked off with the world premiere of Dreamscape, an intricate number performed by the company. The dancers appeared onstage in black unitards, so dark they almost disappeared into the black backdrop. The talented company members performed every single movement with intention and control over their bodies. This piece featured a number of ripples and fast movements, before moving into a duet and ending with all the dancers moving flawlessly together.

Next was the premiere of Moment/s, the namesake of the show. The piece started out with the dancers walking slowly, but intentionally, across the stage dressed in what appeared to be casual street clothes.

As listed in the program, “Moment 1” was lead by the astonishing Weiwei Ma. The lighting, along with Ma’s movement, casted an eerie feel over the stage. Ma moved with such clarity that it seemed as though her movement never stopped– each movement of hers flowed into the next. The choreography also did an incredible job of showcasing Ma’s flexibility and fluidity.

Moment II” featured the remainder of the cast. They walked on stage to join Ma as the music became more upbeat, and they walked faster and faster across the stage.

Evalina Cain Carbonell, known affectionately as “Wally,”  performed a solo next, displaying her fascinating strength and control over her body. The dancers filtered back onto the stage and moved in unison, and the number finished with all standing together in the center of  the stage, staring intently at a spot on the ground.

The next piece of the night, titled “Vertigo,” was also a world premiereClothed in light-colored dresses and pants, the dancers ran across the stage, displaying flowing arms and smooth, uninterrupted movement throughout their bodies. Often pulling, helping and lifting one another, the choreography also included many high legs, showcasing the unaltered flexibility of each and every dancer in the company.

A moment that stood out was when the music stopped and the dancers each balanced on one leg in varying positions. When the music began again, they continued to perform a repetitive phrase and moved fluidly in unison together at the end. The use of dynamics, partnering and the repetition of phrasing over a score of beautiful violin music made this piece quite pleasing to watch.

The final performance of the night was a heavy revision of KYL/D’s previously-performed piece titled Autumn Skin. The program notes that “Autumn Skin is suffused with the chaotic impulses of Nature’s intricate dance of light and dark. Through the metaphor of Fall, Autumn Skin breaks open fixed notions of relationship, deconstructing emotion in order to uncover new meaning, new skin.”

The dancers began clumped together, running to each corner as one and performing a repeated phrase, completely in unison. They were clothed in colorful sundresses, pants and collared shirts. Moving to the beat of the music, they slowly progressed into more fast-paced movements as the rhythm picked up, complete with high jumps, kicks and small, quick steps that had the audience cheering.

Two male company members, Nikolai McKenzie and Mo Liu, delivered standout performances as they executed a graceful partnering section while the rest of the dancers slowly moved back onto the stage and around the duo in slow motion. The final section of the number featured all the dancers moving very sharp and very clear as a group. The longest piece of the night, Autumn Skin featured a variety of partner and group work that never left the audience bored.

Kun-Yang Lin/Dancers put on yet another incredible show, to no surprise.

About Chelsey Hamilton

Chelsey Hamilton recently graduated from Temple University with a dual major in journalism and dance. As a dancer since the age of 3, she grew up focusing her studies on ballet, jazz and contemporary technique. Along with performing in numerous shows and events during her time at Temple, Chelsey was also able to combine her passions for journalism and dance by publishing numerous articles in local publications on arts and entertainment topics since 2013. She has held positions as the arts and entertainment blog intern of Philadelphia Magazine, a Student Author for Philadelphia Dance Journal and the Managing Editor of Temple’s on-campus yearbook, among others.

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