Sculptures, dancers make inventive show
By Tresca Weinstein
Published 9:38 p.m., Saturday, September 22, 2012
ALBANY — Stone and steel are two of the most immovable materials
on the planet. Yet somehow John Van Alstine's slate and recycled-metal
sculptures, on view at the Sage Colleges' Opalka Gallery, make perfect
partners for the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company.
On Friday evening, the troupe's six dancers performed three short
works that Sinopoli created specifically for Van Alstine's exhibition,
which is titled "Arrested Motion/Perilous Balance" (the
show runs through Oct. 14). As they moved on and around the sculptures,
the dancers artfully reflected their primary themes: precarious
suspension, dynamic vectors and contrasting textures and energy.
The choreography in the first work and the third—essentially
a variation on the first—shifted fluidly from floorwork to
standing balances. Circling around a nine-foot bronze and granite
piece called "Doryphorus," the dancers became like shadows
around a sundial, or the hands of a clock, melting onto the ground
and then rising up again. The score by percussionist Brian Melick
provided a sort of rhythmic infrastructure, a solid foundation of
The kinetic feel of the sculptures, with metal and rock thrusting
out in different directions, was echoed in the limbs of the dancers
as they stretched and extended. So too was the play between angles
and curves, as in Van Alstine's "Sisyphean Circle XLII,"
which juxtaposes a jagged line of slate against a circle of steel.
In the second work, each of the dancers (Melissa George, Claire
Jacob-Zysman, Marie Klaiber, Andre Robles, Sara Senecal and Laura
Teeter) interacted with a specific sculpture. Jacob-Zysman threw
herself into trajectories that both complemented and contrasted
with the horizontal sweep of slate and steel in "Fleche III."
Robles was an ideal match for the five-foot-high "Pique,"
a thin tower of granite and steel.
At several points throughout the evening, the dancers formed living
sculptures, in pairs or as a group, balancing, lifting each other
and sharing weight in changing arrangements.
The audience followed the dancers from one side of the gallery to
the other, finding new perspectives with each move. It was even
interesting when a dancer was partially hidden for a moment behind
a sculpture, allowing the art to come in and out of focus. Another
advantage to the intimate setting was an up-close look at Kim Vanyo's
detailed costumes, in earth tones and splashes of red, with geometric
appliques and playful fringe.
The evening was another example, among many, of Sinopoli's inventive
and flexible approach to dance. Wherever she unleashes her dancers—whether
on the proscenium stage, in site-specific architectural environments,
or in local parks in her recent "Undercover Playground"
series — it's worth watching.
Tresca Weinstein is a frequent contributor to the Times Union.
Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company
When: 7:45 p.m. Friday
Where: Sage Colleges Opalka Gallery, 140 New Scotland Ave., Albany.
Length: 70 minutes, with two intermissions.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/entertainment/article/Sculptures-dancers-make-inventive-show-3886592.php#ixzz27Oj64jgP