CELEBRATES ALLOY AT 25
by Jane Vranish,
Post-Gazette Dance and Music Critic
It was a time
to celebrate for the Dance Alloy last night at the Byham Theater. A 25th
anniversary is a major milestone for any dance company, particularly in
today’s economic climate. But, true to form, Dance Alloy celebrated with
deep-rooted, inspired performances rather than bright and joyous
incantations. So there was a great deal to give pause for reflection.
Director Mark Taylor paired with Indian choreographer Anita Ratnam in yet
another major cultural collaboration with “DUST”, a work based on the writings
and story of Alexandra David-Neel, a female explorer from the 1920s who
was the first European to venture into the forbidden city of Lhasa in Tibet.
It was a combination
that put their respective companies on equal footing. The Alloy used Gwen
Hunter Ritchie and Andre Koslowski and Ratnam offered L Narendra Kumar
and Anusha Subramanyam.
became a David-Neel character, proceeding slowly on the diagonal in her
spiritual quest. In the meantime, the remaining three dancers literally
brushed the dust from the stage and then became the particles of movement
exotic electronic score, replete with Tibetan trumpets and an Indian singing
voice, and Barbara Thompson’s lighting design, with its overhead spots,
a golden ring of light and a fragmented wash, added greatly to the
overall mood. Much of the movement seemed indelibly printed with Eastern
influences – the low-slung plies, angular poses and rhythmic foot accents.
But the lifts and spatial elements came from an American direction. To
their credit, the seams between the two choreographers were barely noticeable
and the work remained true to one voice – that of David-Neel…