Mariposa | Jennifer McKeever (Oct. 2013)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Charles A Brown Ice House

By Jennifer McKeever


The Monarch Dance Company presented "Mariposa," (butterfly in Spanish) on October 27th at the Icehouse of Bethlehem.  A full program of 11 works were presented including two guest performancesby In Motion Dance Company.  The late afternoon performance unfolded with an October sky, a light audience, an eclectic and interesting selection of music and modern dance with a flare of the season.

"Scarred" performed by the Artistic Director and choreographer, Tabatha Robinson-Scott was a moving four dimensional visual poem.  Robinson-Scott spoke and danced with a sense of artistry that takes years of study and dancing to portray. She spoke of gentle, quiet and kind women never making history then moving in a torrent of exuberance as she called out her mentors such as Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.  She exclaimed "Everyone has scars, my scars run deep like the belly of flooded rivers."  Each gesture and phrase accented her spoken word monologue. She danced and spoke of being inspired of passion, fears and pain.  The words, the dance, the voice and the phrasing coalesced to move the audience as they roared with applause.

"The Marlborough Set" was choreographed by the Robinson-Scott's assistant, Melissa Keiser.  Undulating movement and isolated hand gestures created a duet in sync.  Mechanical movement flowed into the next phrase. Keiser was elegant and subtle, dancing with soul.

"Optimist" was a stunning display of acrobatic floor work, challenging movement with a strong dancer named Jaclyn D'Arcy who choreographed the work as well.  Sparkling in her glittery costumeshe dazzled the audience with her pirouettes and spinning with her leg in a heel stretch.  D'Arcy performed with a strong presence and engaging facial expression.

"Fly Again" was a work with ten dancers in green and white tunics that used a good sense of pause.  Anticipation of the next movement was exciting.  The dancers of In Motion Dance Companywere intertwined and used a running pattern that kept the piece moving and interesting. Leilani Miller stood out as she performed with fervent emotion and spirit.

"Poison Arrow," performed by InMotion Dance Company to the powerful music by Massive Attack, was choreographically strong and sound.  The use of the dancers in groups of two or three focused on the movement.  Intricate and clean floor work with partnering, doing lifts with some girls upside down made for a surprising piece.  The choreographer, Lisa Peluso, definitely has a future in choreography with her inventive use of space and time.

"Grotesque and Arabesque" was inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe.  Creepily the dancersmoved ontothe stage with lighted lanterns.  The costumes were apropos with black taffeta draping, looking like the brides of Frankenstein.  The intense music of Lucas Vidal and Nathaniel Mechaly was cleverly remastered by Robinson-Scott .  At one point or two the drum and bass fit thechoreography well, as the dancers erratically shifted and moved in a perfect rhythmic pattern kicking and jumping and falling to the floor.  The dancers made a sort of witch's circle with the lanterns around a soloist and they finished with red ribbons, creatively a nice touch.

The finale "A little Party" started in a single line as the dancers peeled away, "voguing" or posing with a jazz theme. The dancers smiled away as they appeared to be showgirls in a Las Vegas revue, even doing a "can-can."  The music by Fergie, Q-Tip and GoonRock , as well as was club style and was reflected in the dance.

In closing, I enjoyed the performance but would have loved to see more technique and proficiency and perhaps a bit more variation on the choreography.  Overall it was entertaining and I would recommend not to miss the next show.