By Edward Kliszus
NEW YORK – White Wave 2024 SoloDuo Festival at Dixon Place
Tonight was the 8th annual SoloDuo Dance Festival at Dixon Place in Manhattan. In this intimate black box theater and stage, gifted artists from 33 dance companies performed in a series of choreographed dances for a full house. Dancers represented the United States, Japan, Korea, and Germany.
As the name SoloDuo implies, viewers enjoyed performances by solo and partner artists before culminating in a final, powerful ensemble work.
Tonight was a culmination of styles akin to visionary and revolutionary choreographers like Daniel Nagrin, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Pina Bausch, and Crystal Pite. Dance styles, from ballet to modern, jazz, and ethnic, expressed emotions and music through powerful and fluid movements emphasizing individual interpretation and personal style.
Dance styles were eclectic, dynamic, diverse, inspiring, and captivating. Musical styles varied and informed the action on stage. Viewers experienced various emotional and psychological themes that frequently incorporated surreal and abstract elements. The solo performance with two white masks against black costuming provided a stunning and stark portrayal of surreal imagery.
While motion sometimes reveled in silence, tonight’s music afforded sonic landscapes and tensions for artistic motion. We sensed Zen, religious connotations, the dialectics of cacophony, surreal imagery, and sparkling, pulsating, synthesized sounds. Musical references from classic musical literature, such as Liszt’s Liebestraum No. 3, contrasted the modern palate of electronic offerings.
Synesthesia was the frequent cerebral result of intermingling sound, costume, movement, and lighting. Dancers achieved celebration and sensuality through agility with an occasional playful, captivating dash of Crystal Pite’s athleticism of Flight Pattern.
There was amusement as well, as particularly depicted by a solo dancer performing to what might be described as amusing elevator music akin to the theme from the old Love Boat TV show. Draped in uproarious, flamboyant costuming, the performer went on to lip sync Judy Garland performing I Happen to Like New York.
The fantastic final company performance of “Eternal NOW Now” by the Young Soon Kim Dance Company was vital and powerful. The company fully utilized the opening, driving dissonant soundscapes. The piece surged into Zen passages, electric guitar improvisation, and an enigmatic segue into rockin’ guitar riffs. This work featured choreography by Young Soon Kim, original music by Marco Cappelli, costume design by Sarah Cubbage, and dramaturgy by James Leverett.
Tonight was a fantastic celebration of dance, choreography, and its disciples’ strength, agility, athletic prowess, and artistic authority to move, inspire, create, and express. Witnessing young, gifted artists adroitly perform a varied, magnificent program was heartening and splendid.
White Wave is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to dance. Its mission is “a potent stimulus for change and expansion of the dance/arts world. ” White Wave is “committed to creating a union between the natural rhythms of the planet and the primal essence of the human spirit.”
White Wave SoloDuo Dance Festival
WHITE WAVE Dance Company
150 Mac Dougal St. 1Fl.
Brooklyn, NY 11233
Young Soon Kim
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