The Dash | Sarah Carlson (Aug. 2014)

The Dash
Friday, August 8, 2014
DanceNow @ SteelStacks

By Sarah Carlson

In the midst of buzzing Musikfest patrons, Robin Staff, the director of DanceNow, introduced her latest dance act fresh from NYC. Gregory Dolbashian and his company, The Dash, mounted the outside stage at Creativity Commons at Steelstacks in front of a healthy early evening crowd to show The Re-Up.

A solo by Dolbashian quickly brings us into the world of the piece, his articulate movement propels a sweeping flow of energy through his body.
Wearing black sneakers and multi-colored sweats, pairs of dancers enter with a dynamic interplay of connection. They push and pull each other into and out of relating; the movement is highly gestural and clear. Each dancer engages the same care as Dolbashian, at times appearing to move in slow-motion, so we can see the detail with sculptural precision. The music is pulsating, electronic, gritty. Despite the casual attire, these players are dead serious.
Gutteral breaths on the soundscore communicate a sense of raw intensity. Young, powerful bodies move into and out of the floor with ease. Moments of stillness allow key images to stand out: a body suspended by four limbs looks out for mercy, an upside down kick of sheer aggression, a group lift that reaches with hope for the sky.

At times, the dancers dodge off the front of the stage bringing the action down to our level. As they interrelate, the performers faces are open, engaged, earnest. The action is acrobatic but not swept up in tricks.  Long amplified base notes lend a sense of gravity to the piece.

Overall there is an intense earnestness to The Dash, perhaps harkening to the meaning of the company’s moniker; the “dash” being the dash listed between the year we are born and die, essentially referring to the lives we lead. And while at times larger than life, Dolbashian’s work is certainly human. The Re-up’s final image includes all six dancers sitting at the back of the stage looking towards the horizon. The beauty of the setting sun on a warm summer’s eve could not have worked to better effect.