photo credit: Bill Hebert
by Chelsea Hamilton for The Dance Journal
Temple University’s spring BFA concert: Don’t Worry, This Will Be Recorded, showcased a unique blend of intricate contemporary work, featuring both video and live performance.
The show opened with a piece by senior Jessica Goodale, titled 04-07. The piece began with one dancer sitting on the ground, fidgeting with her legs and arms and repeating a phrase of gestural movement.
The other dancers gradually filtered on to the stage, also performing phrases of gestural movement with the use of ripples and different formations. The music was noticably cheery and upbeat, and the dancers had big smiles on their faces.
Dressed in bright-colored sundresses, they performed an interesting sequence of hopping around and slapping the sides of their legs. All of their movements seemed gestural and effortless. The piece came full circle and ended the way it began — a dancer sitting on the ground, staring aimlessly and fidgeting with her legs. Goodale’s work seemed to be centered solely around her music choice — the choreography always matched the ambience of what was coming through the speakers.
Next was Finally, a dance for film with choreography by senior Brian Cordova and cinematography by Carmel Ramos DeBerg. As noted in the program, the film “stems from a year long exploration of the process that we take in order to communicate with one another.”
The video began with dancer Weiwei Ma clothed in a lavish white dress that appeared to be a wedding dress. Ma was seated in what looked like a tiny, cluttered room with a couple large windows and decrepit bottles in the corner.
Ma varied between slow, graceful movements and thrashing movements, such as violently pulling her long dress off the seat she was on. The scene changed suddenly to two men, Liu Mo and Zac Lynd, sitting on a couch in the same obscure room. The duo slowly stood up and moved together fluidly, before continuing into intricate partner work. The film jolted back and forth between shots of Ma in the flowing, white dress and the pair of male dancers moving in the same space.
photo credit: Bill Hebert
Following the film, Clockwork by Angeline DiGiugno was presented. DiGiugno noted in the program that her work was inspired by her younger brother’s passion for film and photography, and it was also evident that it was influenced by the novel/film A Clockwork Orange.
The dance began with a vibrant orange backdrop and the shadows of four dancers moving in different poses. As the lights brightened and the dancers became more visible to the audience, dancer Elana Tiberi seemed to take the lead and walked mockingly around the other dancers, who appeared to be scared and intimated by her character.
The piece continued into fast-paced phrases performed in unison by the dancers, complete with floor work, jumps and turns. Costumed in black pants, white crop tops and boots, they stood in a straight line and walked slowly toward the audience, moving only their hands.
Tiberi appeared to be angry and violent as the rest of the dancers held her back. Evil smiles crept onto their faces as they repeated a phrase of clocklike movement with their arms and hands. The piece concluded with Tiberi finally being left alone on the stage against the same bright orange backdrop that was present in the beginning.
photo credit: Bill Hebert
G h o s t was presented next, choreographed by senior Jessica Halko in collaboration with dancers. Four female dancers were positioned in different areas of the stage dressed in all white. As the lights turned on, one dancer began speaking and asking questions about death and ghosts, which set a somber tone for the remainder of the piece. The rest of the dancers stood entirely still as a fifth dancer slowly crept onto the stage.
As the dialogue continued, the dancers started performing a series of movements that appeared frantic and agitated. The lighting on the stage cast shadows on the bodies and faces of the dancers, who were hugging and leaning on each other, and screaming silently, setting an eerie feel over the piece.
The women performed repetitive phrases such as clutching their stomachs and holding their ears and faces, appearing to be in pain. The piece finished with one dancer facing the audience and audibly crying, casting an emotional aura throughout the theater.
The final piece of the concert, A Conversation Through Time, was presented by senior Katie Moore. As listed in the program, her piece “investigates the relationship of objective and subjective time — acknowledging the simultaneous, personal sensation of both and how these states of being affect our perception, memory and relationships with those closest to us.”
The dancers were clothed in black outfits with a vibrant pop of color underneath their shirts, moving against an electric blue backdrop. The group started out moving slowly and in unison, holding onto one another. A pair of dancers slowly slid off the stage while lying on their backs, then slid back onto the stage from the other side, all while the remaining dancers were performing an intricate phrase with choreography that showcased their flexibility and fluidity. With constant movement patterns and vibrant colors, Moore closed the show with a refreshingly creative piece.