Advocating: ClancyWorks Performance

(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece

(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece

(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece
(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece

ClancyWorks and Bill Evans Dance Company performed for a house of about one hundred and twenty people. they performed a total of six pieces, three in each act which took place Saturday, March 15 at Black Rock Center in Germantown, Md.

 

The evening was filled with electric dancing and vibrant movement. Work from Susan Shields, Claire Porter, and Verlezza Sabatino was also featured.

 

The opening slot of the evening was “Driven [by the Female Heartbeat].” The piece began with a small square of light, where four dancers intertwine and weave with each other while trying to pull focus from the rest of the group.

 

The defining moments for this piece are moments of gestural movement that pull attention to the face and torso of the dancers. There was a lot of partnered balancing,  and lifts that add to the fluid quality of the dance.

 

(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece
(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece

 

Although there were just four dancers, the rapid lifts and arm movements give the illusion of more bodies on stage.   The music for the piece and the movement are married well together with accents that emphasise the quirks of the music. The costumes for this piece were very appropriate for the movement and the atmosphere. They were sleek and futuristic in design, however, they were just a simple pant and tunic set. What set the futuristic taste to the costumes were the color combination of burgundy and grey which gave it a very sterile and clean cut vibe.

The next two pieces of the first act were both choreographed by Bill Evans. Evans performed the solo, “Blues for My Father” an excerpt from Dances for My Father, which was a soft shoe number. The rhythms and sounds that he was able to produce were numerous and swift.

 

Evans is truly a master of tap dance. “By George!” was my favorite piece in the first act because it featured vocalization from the dancers. The vocalization included singing, humming, panting, gasping, sighing, and grunting. The movement was quirking and included popular dances of the 1900’s such as the ‘Charleston’ and ‘Mash Potato.’

 

(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece
(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece

 

Being an all female piece, “By George!” added to the narrative of the piece, and it took me to a place in the early 1940’s. Costuming also added to the atmosphere of the piece, the colors were bland and very conservative.

 

The show’s second act opened with a heartbreaking duet entitled “Displaced.” The dancers were Jason Fowler and Natalia Pinzon.

 

The lifts in the composition were very fluidly placed into the movement and were seamless to the choreography. The soft quality of this piece and the emotional presence was not a good setup for “See You Around”  which was a comically rich and theatrical movement piece.

 

The evening finishes strong with a unique and athletic piece centered around huge pieces of furniture. “Benchmarks” by Adrienne Clancy is a fully explored piece that combines ballet technique, modern lines, gymnastics, and parkour technique to produce a visually pleasing and exciting work.

 

During the piece, the dancers swayed the benches and created the illusion of a moving forest. Overall, the speed and accuracy of the moving benches, jumps and slides from the benches was breath taking.

(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece
(Photo Credit: Natalia Mesa) Benchmark Piece