‘Liquid Spine, Cape Ann’: Dance movie


Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
Streaming by way of Vimeo.

In the waning phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, the dance world – similar to the world at massive – is juggling many dynamics up within the air. Dance artists are exploring the way to carry ahead the (in some ways compulsory) deep-dives into dance movie that they did over the previous two-plus years. Many are additionally more and more drawn to discover themes of social impression of their work — in methods which are creatively nurturing, resonant with audiences and lasting. 

Liquid Spine, Cape Ann, a brief environmentally-focused dance movie, confirmed a doubtlessly fairly fruitful path ahead in balancing these dynamics specifically (of the various that the dance world is at present juggling) – in social impression dance movie that’s each nice artwork and successfully underscores an vital message.

For one, the work saved trustworthy human feeling at its root – but feeling that stopped in need of melodrama. For two, it labored by a lovely “less is more” ethos – permitting what it was to be sufficient, shining by in its personal manner. It stood for instance of how dance artwork can transfer us ahead, amidst the entire challenges that we face, with honesty and coronary heart. Katie Pustizzi contributed choreography and movie route.

The movie opens on two dancers – Keegan Scesny and Lonnie Anela O’kalani Neff Stanton – transferring collectively in water. Beyond them lies rocky shoreline and towering pines – all beneath cloudless, infinite sky. Sometimes submerged, typically rising, they undulate as fluidly because the water round them. 

Just as creatures greater than at residence in water, but distinct from it, they’re in full concord with one another and their environment – but in addition autonomous. They embody steadiness between independence and connection. The rating, as all through the work, equally brings collectively diverging qualities, to pleasing impact; it sharpens the emotional valence at hand, but in addition leaves area for viewers to paint of their personal strains of feeling. 

A notable shift comes after they see a plastic water bottle floating towards them (combined media artwork by Garbage Gal). They stare upon it, virtually perplexed – reflecting an innocence in the direction of the hurt in the direction of their world that it represents. At the identical time, one thing protecting arises from inside them; they push the bottle away. Then enters a superb deal extra of that threatening, if mysterious substance seemingly so alien to them: one other dancer (Meredith Price) caught and surrounded by plastic and different remnants of human consumption. 

Price struggles to remain afloat, her motions of swimming constrained by varied bottles and luggage entwining her limbs. One can see right here the common and timeless wrestle – and will – to outlive. A web holds a lot of the waste on her: reminiscing ocean wildlife caught in careless human nets. She is expressionless; has she misplaced hope? Like a creature in a battle for its life, have all features shut down aside from these which contribute to that battle? 

Slow-motion videography has me intrigued, as a artistic selection. In a manner, it helps construct emotional resonance by permitting sure moments to linger – like a bell rung by a quiet metropolis sq..

Another chapter on this quick story begins when the three dancers step unto land. Scesny and Neff Stanton help Price, strolling along with her on both facet and holding both of her arms. 

At this level, I additionally discover potential which means inside costumes. Neff Stanton and Scesny put on muted earth tones, in tunic-like attire — malleable clean slates of coloration and feeling, malleable as they’re in motion and emotion all through the work. Price, nevertheless, wears extra coloration and definitive cuts: a drive of extra fixed willpower and resolve because the movie progresses. 

Resolve and willpower certainly; with each mind and brawn, mind and bodily energy, she frees herself from the plastic surrounding her as she stands tall and proud on the shoreline. She sheds each weight and bodily limitation. The two others stand by, in stillness but in addition a presence of distinct intention – appearing as protectors. With a delicate, but notable construct within the rating, this feels just like the type of victory (smaller or bigger, all thought-about) that brings rays of hope. There could be small victories whereas there’s nonetheless work to do. 

In unstated mutual understanding, the three movers be part of to assault that work left to do. Whereas Neff Stanton and Scesny’s personas had been beforehand harmless onlookers, searching for understanding of one thing coming their manner that had been so very international to them, a brand new fireplace of company appears to burn in them now. That stated, the performers keep away from giving off something too heavy-handed or neatly spelled-out – so viewers can’t actually know the precise nature of their ideas and emotions. That type of thriller and abstraction could be some of the thrilling issues about modern dance.

With that new resolve, and Price newly free of her plastic chains, they head again into the ocean. Again becoming a member of mind and brawn, they work collectively to collect floating trash. Through aggregation, their efforts appear to turn into greater than the sum of their components. Even with their vitality honed on conducting a concrete process, their motion stays harmonious and aqueous. They form shift round one another, the supplies they’re gathering and one another – like jellyfish however with bones to help and shield the softer buildings of their bodily being.

In an impactful picture towards the tip, the three girls stroll out of the ocean with the trash that they’ve gathered. To nice impact, Pustizzi’s videography presents a number of such resonant photos all through the movie. They are unified however impartial, joined in mission and understanding but additionally ruled by nobody’s will however their very own. The digital camera then pans towards the indescribably huge sky — previous sand, ocean and majestic evergreens.

Seen with sure eyes, that countless sky might maintain hope; regardless of all that we face, are our potentialities additionally boundless? With honesty, authenticity and remembering that much less could be so, a lot extra, simply possibly they’re. Works like Liquid Spine, Cape Ann can shine a light-weight down such a path, a path that might be simply the one we want. 

To watch Liquid Spine, Cape Ann, click on right here.

By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa. 


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