Light and Shade, Flash and Splash Startle in Weeks’s Work


Choreographer Edisa Weeks added three edgy dreams to her repertory. In Field of Shadows, her shadow, manipulated by interactive techie Luibo Borissov, breaks away to dance on its own. Often the flesh-and-blood dancer could only watch as she was compellingly upstaged by her own stark black, frog-like silhouette. She Loves Me presented a nuclear family scenario of anger and infanticide. Lighting designer Peter West made Weeks’s images glare like warnings—the yellow dress, the white handbag, the flash of a butcher’s knife. Some splashy partnering, taken out of context, could be reinserted into any mainstream dance show, just as we’d hear the Patsy Cline and Martha Reeves love songs quite differently elsewhere. Here, Weeks and Andrew Vaughn’s grappling felt aggressive and controlling although, because they looked and danced so fine, just short of startling. The enigmatic trio Turning Point could, with patience and imagination, be read as a nightmare of hospitalization.

A fine flamenco show driven by passionate singing and dancing

Under a faint yellow light on the Joyce stage, María Pagés and Angel Muñoz looked like two conjured spirits, distinguishing themselves through costume and charisma from the nine other bodies dancing in the background. They went at flamenco like matador and raging bull, heels planting down hard and loud, chests protruding, hips and torsos rippling, fingers recoiling.

In motion Pagés’s arms were like wings on a phoenix, powerful and flexible. In contrast, Muñoz’s demeanor was suave but very present. Two guitarists, a percussionist, and singer Ana Ramón, whose gritty voice matched Pagés’s moves in brilliance and brawn, performed a potpourri of tunes that shifted from Gypsy chant to Spanish folk music. Rhythmic hand claps, flapping fans, and clasping castanets accentuated the choreography. At the center was Pagés, cavorting wildly in dresses of red, black, and bronze, bathed in a smoky spotlight.

Monica Levette Clark

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