On Saturday, November 17, 2012, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet (Bodiography) united a showcase of its collaborative choreographic and artistic work in the 11th season performance of “Multiplicity.” Bodiography’s Artistic Director, Maria Caruso, invited her dancers and the Pittsburgh arts community to this year’s showcase that was performed on a one-night engagement at the Byham Theater in Downtown.
The evening unfolded with an array of eclectic premieres in the genres of ballet, modern, and jazz dance. In addition, long-time company alumna, Lauren Suflita Skrabalak, returned for her second consecutive season to set a new work on former student and company member, Gabrielle Yarshen.
The show opened with a premiere work by guest artist, Daniel Karasik, entitled “Pause.” With somber music by Nils Frahm, the stark, cream-white costumes of the dancers only added to the minimalist staging of this piece. With Tai Chi-like inspired movements, the ensemble wove an atmosphere of peaceful tranquility. It was like witnessing living clouds dance.
“Parlour,” which was choreographed and costumed by Caruso, included music by Ahn Trio, and was a solo effort by KDKA-TV News Anchor, Kristine Sorensen. In a performance that perhaps finally took the empty chair back from Clint Eastwood, Sorensen curled and balanced her body around the singular prop in a skilled and acrobatic dance. The piece permeated isolation and smacked of loneliness until Sorensen broke free from the chair near the end in pure exhilaration and joyous freedom.
Other evening highlights included “January Reflections” which was choreographed and costumed by Kelly Basil. With incredible skill and amazing balance, the lead dancer moved among shadows of herself represented by the ensemble. Like reflections of the lead performer in pure blue dresses, the other dancers both mimicked and inspired her with a flawless and mirror-like complement of movement.
In “Somebody,” which was also choreographed and costumed by Caruso, the dancers (comprised of La Roche College dance majors) channeled West Side Story-esque movements in an all-girl, playground, dance-off, battle royale. Set to the music of pop-sensation Gotye, this piece was full of fun fighting—complete with intimidating looks, physically tight sequences, and a plethora of attitude.
The night began to conclude with a performance by Caruso herself entitled, “Our Notebook (AJ and Penelope Revealed).” Along with male lead dancer, Joshua Sweeny, the couple courted each other in a romantic, cat-and-mouse game of flirtatiously subtle swirls as they eventually found each other within a stage beautifully filled with contrasts of light and shadow.
“Multiplicity” ended with the gently slowed and impressively synchronized ensemble finale, “Fractured and Rebuilt.” These last two pieces were choreographed and costumed by Caruso as well. All performances included dance-inspired sculptural and photographic works by Eric Rosé, and all lighting design was done by Stevie O’Brian Agnew. It was truly an evening of amazing music, stunning creativity, and lingering emotion.
For more information on Bodiography, please visit www.bodiographycbc.com, email [email protected], or call (412) 425-3766. Tickets for upcoming shows will be available at www.pgharts.org or by calling 412-456-6666.