New Original Works Festival 2014

by Spot LA


It is good to see the NOW Festival feature a strong and diverse roster of dance artists.  Here's our thoughts about REDCAT's NOW Festival, program 1, from Saturday July, 26.

 Wilfried Souly.  Photo Credit Steven Gunther

Wilfried Souly.  Photo Credit Steven Gunther

The evening's first offering, Saana/The Foreigner by Wilfried Souly, began in the lobby with a processional.  A hallway of people milling about, waiting to be let into the theatre, quickly formed a corridor for Souly, who moved fluidly between ceremonial gestures and intimate emotions.  We felt simultaneously welcomed and voyeuristic.  Once we were situated in our seats, the piece resumed.  Musicians continued the idea of the procession as they gradually descended the stairs to the stage, and Souly continued to play between realms of the formal/public and the private/intimate.  Souly has a rolling, rich physicality and a beautiful command of his quick-changing expressions.  Like the winding and unwinding of his arms, the structure of the piece unfolded and wound around us.  From brief flashes of humor to projections of invasive immigration questions to the fragility of our own stories, Souly brings us into his world, a world we are all part of in some way or another.  He ends by gazing right at the audience.  It is intensely personal, not just to him, but to all of us.

 Rosanna Gamson/World Wide.  Photo Credit Steven Gunther

Rosanna Gamson/World Wide.  Photo Credit Steven Gunther

Rosanna Gamson's World Wide: Still followed.  Her world feels less emotionally personal and more virtuosic, more constructed.  It is a world full of light and shadows and ever-shifting dreamscapes.  Through brilliantly executed lighting design, dancers appear and disappear seamlessly in a world shaped and re-shaped by gauzy curtains.  The musical choices were beautiful and varied, although many of them were over too quickly.  The sensations of being in a dream were vivid and the dancers attacked their lush, gorgeous movement beautifully.  While brilliant in construction, virtuosic on many levels and visually stunning, there was a lot of room for more of an emotional connection.  It was hard to find a reason to care for these dreamers, even as they took our breath away.

We hope you'll be able to check out REDCAT's NOW festival 2014.  The festival runs until August 9.  Click here to get your tickets and maybe we'll see you there.

- Spot LA