2013 Wave Rising Series

Article by Wun Kuen Ng
Photo credit Niko

The 8th Annual Wave Rising Series featured 21 companies/choreographers and 89 artists in 21 performances for three weeks at the White Wave John Ryan Theater in DUMBO, Brooklyn. The mission of these series is to nurture and broaden artists of all levels. Every week there were two programs, Programs A to F, and every program featured different dance companies and performances. 

On Saturday, November 2, Program C presented performances from four different dance companies – Amy Marshall Dance Company, White Wave Young Soon Kim Dance Company, 277 Dance Project, and Azul Dance Theatre/Yuki Hasegawa – and four choreographers – Amy Marshall, Young Soon Kim, Nicole Philippidis, and Yuki Hasegawa respectively.

From Amy Marshall Dance Company, they performed an excerpt from Two Duets and a Quartet and DIVIJA. In “Dvija”, eight dancers in gold leotards and female dancers in pink skirts, came out in a single line, arms raised in the air one by one, forming a wave. The hypnotic music by Kevin Keller and gentle but safe gestures from the dancers make the piece meditative. The costumes by Norma Kamail look ethereal. The following piece, “Duet” featured a modern dressed couple. The stretch of their arms and legs showed beauty and grace. A lot stunts were performed; the female dancer was placed on male dancer’s shoulder, and then lifted off across the body to the floor. Another dance sequence had the couple enmeshed with each other, one on top of another. The chemistry between the couple was seen throughout every movement, the way they touched, they emotion on their face. The dance steps were more inventive in this piece. Later in the piece, there was an introduction of benches as a prop.  The four benches, themselves were moved around, throughout the piece, sometimes in a straight line, sometimes separated, or lifted to form a “V” shape.  Young Soon Kim was exploring the human emotions of now, how they are informed by the past; its anxiety, sadness, worry, and hope for the future.

In terms of dance technique and innovative dance steps, the strongest piece of Program C was “Eternal NOW,” choreographed by Young Soon Kim. “Eternal NOW” is the final part of a four-part series, which began with “So Long for NOW” (2010), “Here NOW” (2011), and followed by “Here NOW So Long” (2012). When working with Young Soon Kim, she encourages them to find their voice in their dance. Only excerpts of the piece were performed. The piece is a work in progress. Its full-length debut will be at BAM on June 18-22, 2014, including live music, aerial dancing, and videos. The complete work of “Eternal NOW” will be a 70 minute performance instead of the 40 minutes as showcased at DUMBO on Saturday evening.

Performed by 277 Dance Project, “Flight” began the performance with the suspense effect, a single spotlight on a female dancer dressed in modern clothes on center stage. The music ranging from Burlap to Cashmere is heavy in text with beautiful lyrics like “…straw house is blown away…in the ocean of for salvation…starlight of creation.” Later in the performance, two women on stage raised their arms and four dancers in random chaos, and a couple walks across the stage. Choreographer Nicole Philippidis examined the idea of “escape,” ideological clashes with society, escape from beliefs built in and how to reconstruct. The message of the music is on to how to seek meaning, within oneself. The full piece will be showcased at Dixon Place, Bowery & Christine with a full band on May/June 2013.

The “Elements” piece, choreographed by Yuki Hasegawa, was performed by the Azul Dance Theater. This piece had a lot of symbolism. There were two dancers dressed in red shirts and skirt pants represented the element of fire, four dancers were in blue represented the element water, and the dancers in white represented the elements of wind. The two dancers in a fetal position rotating on the floor were to show birth from soil. The piece was a combination of improvisation, modern dance, and musical theatre style. The choreography was like a painting. Hasegawa allows her dancers the freedom to improvise.  The wind elements, she would tell them to walk across the stage four times and they could interpret it however they wanted. There was a section within the performance where two dancers ran across the stage with two blue strips of cloth which represented the river. The piece was scheduled to first appear in November 2012 but due to Hurricane Sandy, it was postponed. It later showcased at the Salvatore Capezio Theater in Manhattan in February 2013. The John Ryan Theater was the second venue where the piece was showcased. Hasegawa’s next work will appear at the 92 St. on November 8th. The piece will be a contemporary Japanese dance with sword fighting; very intense, she said.

The John Ryan Theatre is a simple beautiful space, great for another week of fabulous creative works. If you want to experience these amazing works, now CoolNY Dance Festival is offering free performances. CoolNY Dance Festival, originating in 2004 as a component of Cool New York, the City’s winter celebration of arts and parks events, is proud to present its eleventh year of contemporary dance programming, this January 29th – February 9th which is curated by Young Soon Kim, Artistic Director of WHITE WAVE. For more: http://www.whitewavedance.com.

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