Diversity in Dance and Style at KYL/D’s Inhale

by Emma Elsmo | photo by Steven Weisz

With a carefully cultivated selection of works, KYL/D presented their 38th Inhale Performance Series at Chi Movement Arts Center on Friday night. Inhale is a bi-monthly event  filled with dance that is cleverly structured by Jessica Warchal-King. This specific run was a creative mix of video performance, documentary footage, and live dance made for an evening of excitingly diverse art appreciation. The converted studio space formed a comfortable intimate setting for showcasing newer works by up-and-coming choreographers in a healthy, judgment free space.

The performance began with a documentary short entitled Who said you can’t dance? by David Block. Focused on the benefits of dancing for people in wheelchairs, the film delved into the founding and expansion of the American DanceWheels Foundation. Through interviews and dance footage, Block allowed for a much needed enlightenment about a foundation that opens its arms to helping people heal through movement. Following the opening video, Kathleen Kelly’s Sugar- a self-choreographed, self-performed solo- brought in a post-modern improvisational means of moving. Her rag-doll like nature mixed with the ambient sounds she mixed herself, offered the audience a glimpse into the world abstract movement in a casually executed manner.

The performance continued to a rather youthful contemporary number performed by the ladies of Labyrinth Dance Company. Their piece Goodbye, choreographed by Carlie Monzo, was a trio to Sam Smith lamenting the difficulty of saying goodbye. The movement was simplistic and echoed the dramatic nature of the song true to lyrical dance form. The piece that followed entitled Domain, choreographed by Nicole Gallo in collaboration with her dancers, sparked intrigue through intricate gestural phrases and articulate unison work. The music echoed in a way that mimed a heartbeat, and the lighting paired with the movement brought about an unforeseen element of shadow play.

After a brief intermission, the second act mirrored the first by opening with a video projection of Jessica Warchal-King’s Rediscovery. Unlike the documentary, the work was an artistic glimpse into the choreographic and dancing mind of Warchal-King. Filmed by Jake Buczewski, Rediscovery focused on the beauty of the dancing body in abstract, grittier settings through angular and striking movement. The remaining four pieces in the show balanced out nicely as it jumped from solo to duet to group works. six plane faces, choreographed by Rebecca McCormac, was completely captivating with it’s curious prop choice and unique movement phrasing. The colorful costumes mixed well with the playful music, and the dancers executed the difficult lifts, leaps, and turns with aggressive fervor.

Both Tumbling Through Mirrors by Annie-Fay Fortenberry and Bridget Carlin and undefined diagnosis by Taylor Hahn, showcased the similar ambient nature of Kathleen Kelly’s Sugar. The duet and solo respectively brought about a hypnotic means of viewing the dancers. It was the closing piece though, that truly entertained through entirely one-of-a-kind dancing, over-the-top performance quality, and hyper-quirky musical arrangements. Manic Papaya choreographed by Evalina “Wally” Carbonell offered a humorous and colorful close to a wonderful evening of dance.

About Emma Elsmo

A Chicago native, Emma Elsmo has been dancing since the mere age of two and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She began her formal dance training at the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park and has spent three summers training under Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's professional programs, as well as one summer spent with Deeply Rooted Dance Chicago. Currently, she is happy to be a part of several projects being created in the Philadelphia area. A lover of all things art related, Elsmo is currently getting a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from Temple University.

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