Varying in presentation, origin of idea, and style, Sarah Carusona, Marcie Mamura, and Isabelle Collazo, Chicago-area choreographers show what they’ve got at this month’s DanceChance, moderated by Audience Architect’s Heather Heartley.
Beginning with Carusona’s work, “Untitled,” the audience is immediately (and pleasantly) overwhelmed with a large group of ten dancers working in perfect tandem. Carusona’s remarks about the making of the piece and reflections on the difficulties of molding to a choreographer’s wants and needs are far overwhelmed by the excellence in technique and coherence of the dancers as one unit. Especially potent in the work is a duet between Carusona and dancer, Johnson Brock. The partners seem to know each other’s bodies and flow with ease while the development of Carusona as a dancer throughout the past few years is an absolute inspiration.
Second on the program is Marcie Mamura’s work, also without a title. While perhaps not as strong in construct as the previous work, implementing rather predictable progression of events, and elevator music reminiscent of a jazzy pep-band lilting on a sunny day, what makes the experience engaging for audience members is the note cards that Mamura has passed out before the piece begins. Marcie’s “wild curiosity” about “collective practices and artful exchange” make the process of watching this piece feel inclusive. An especially strong performance from dancer Hanna Jean Hildreth captures emotive interest, making it nearly impossible to watch anyone else. A strong last impression develops as Mamura expresses her process with poignantly chosen words and endearing conversation attributes.
Finally, what strikes first in Callazo’s “Ways of relating (In progress)” is the stunning, unique phyiscal beauty of choreographer Isabelle Collazo and equally of dancers Jana Capozzoli and Cristina Tadeo. Thin, tall dancers, begin the piece with a collaborative experiment with musicians Mike Harmon and Dan Pierson. The pivotal moment in this piece comes as Collazo approaches the fourth wall and gazes through, implementing a bouncing of the knees. The audience is struck by the oddity of the movement as Collazo maintains calm regularity in facial expression. Perhaps unitnentional by Collazo, the piece takes on a 1920’s wholesome schoolgirl effect with playful (geometric, printed leggings), girly (lacy, feminine colors, and electric raspberry lipstick) costume choices.
DanceChance is a monthly event put on by DanceWorks Chicago and The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Information from the website can be found here.
“DanceChance is a one-hour event designed to offer opportunities for choreographers to show their work informally, create a forum for dialogue among artists, and build audience for dance. Inspired by the concept of open-mic night, Dance Chance is held once a month and features 3 choreographers chosen by chance, each of whom has a 15-minute time slot to share their work. To round out the hour, the final 15-minute segment is a moderated meet-the-artist session providing an opportunity for choreographers to discuss their work and process as well as time for the audience to ask questions. At the end of each Dance Chance, the next trio of participants is chosen from names submitted by choreographers in attendance.”
Be sure to attend the next DanceChance on March 4th featuring works by Bianca Lozano Sanders, Kalin Morrow, Jen Cobb.