Part of the mission of W-I-P is to cultivate audiences for performance art and movement-based art through education and performance entertainment. Each audience is unique and comes with their own knowledge and experiences which informs the CRP dialogue sessions with the artists. This past Wednesday we had another great audience for our February W-I-P performance lab. The featured artists were; Alamotion Dance Troupe, Aerial Horizon and Shakti Moves Dance Company.
Alamotion Dance Troupe kicked off the night with a collaborative choreography work by the young dancers under the direction of Alysya Perez. The work they presented was inspired by the book Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. There were fourteen dancers traversing the stage en masse, and in fleeting small groups of trios and duets and one brief solo moment. The overall theme was that of a community of friends transforming, shifting, and evolving over the course of lived time. The dancers utilized floor work, gesture and architecural partnering to communicate their narrative.
What was most impressive was that all fourteen dancers were under 17 years of age and they managed to include all their voices in the movement and choreographic choices. Though they all admitted that it was a challenging experience and not quite sure if they wanted to repeat it, they did agree that they had benefited from it and took away valuable knowledge and acquired skills. Thanks to Alysya Perez and San Antonio Parks and Recreation for nurturing creative, youth voices in San Antonio.
Aerial Horizon was a last minute addition to the February 22nd performance lab, having to step in for injured W-I-P artist, Cassandra Sheffer-Permenter. Aerial Horizon was represented by director, Julia Langenberg, and company members, Jenny Been Franckowiak and Josh Grohman. They chose to share with the audience an improvisation with the simple score of: close your eyes and explore your chair and in response the random music selections. This was a fun and unpredictable performance. Each performer began sitting in their chair facing the audience with their eyes closed. To begin the movement impetus, they had an audience member volunteer their cellphone playlist and our lighting director, Billy Muñoz randomly selected two tracks. As soon as the music began the performers started moving their bodies on, in, through, under, on top of their chair. The resulting overall performance was comical, stress inducing with moments of sublime serendipity.
The final performance of the evening was Shakti Moves Dance Company under the direction of Erica Santiago. Shakti Moves was represented by a solo dancer. Erica was inspired by the feminine within Hindu goddess worship. She used images of Indian culture and dance to inform her movement choices as a choreographer. The dancer performed in a traditional Sari that was some color between bronze, peach and brown. Towards the beginning of the dance, she shed the beautiful material and emoted some kind of memory through movement which traversed the stage along all levels and intensities.
Shakti Moves Dance Company will be performing this work at Cafe Dance in Austin, May 19th and 20th.