Category Archive for: ‘Michael Ferguson’

Hi-5 — Post Ballet Performance Review


Post Ballet Performance — Z Space

November 22, 2014




This was not to my taste.  It was five short dance performances to mostly live musical accompaniments by The Living Earth Show.  The dancing for the most part lacked emotional content, did not sync with the sound tracks, and had a sameness to it that seemed to lack imagination.

The first one, Flutter, was three dancers: two males and one female, in two skits.  The first was to hand clapping accompaniment provided by The Living Earth Show.  The second was to a solo violin performance of the Sarabande from Bach’s Partita in D minor played live on stage by Kevin Rogers.  Rogers did a nice job on the Sarabande.   He didn’t really need the dancers and they did not add much to his performance.  I could see immediately that these dancers were not at the highest level of technical proficiency, and this dance they were asked to perform was not of great interest.

Sixes and Sevens was a solo performance by Tetyana Martyanova, accompanied by a chaotic, confusing, mishmash of noisy, monotonous soundtracks that do not fit together at all.  Tetyana is a tall, beautiful girl, who is a very fine dancer — probably the best dancer on the stage tonight.  It would have been much more effective if she had danced to silence instead of that awful soundtrack.

Yours is Mine showed some promise.  It was three males in various antagonistic, somewhat homoerotic configurations.  This one had the most discernible emotional content of all of the vignettes, and the most meaningful interactions between the dancers.  If it had continued developing the male-male themes it might have been good, but about midway through a female dancer enters.  Her entry destroys the momentum of the male-male interactions, but she does not provide a new focus for the skit.  Instead the dance becomes diffuse and sort of melts into a bland mass.  The woman, qua woman, is ignored and she almost becomes one of the guys.  Except she is not one of the guys.  In fact, there are no guys any more.  They are just dancers cavorting around without any real purpose.

North Pacific Garbage Patch is a musical interlude performed by The Living Earth Show.   This band consists of two guys, the one artist bashes rambunctiously on a set of drums while the other artist blasts an electric guitar tuned to sound like a cross between a snow blower, a table saw, and sometimes a freight train.  I couldn’t have chosen a better title for this myself.  I think it perfectly captures the flavor of this performance.

Tassel, the final vignette, comes the closest to being interesting.  Five dancers plus The Living Earth Show in an energetic romp that uses the entire stage.  One begins to notice as the dancers blitz back and forth that they are each taking off their clothes a piece at a time.  It becomes an incipient group strip tease that draws one subtly in.  But they don’t have the nerve to carry it to its ultimate conclusion, and instead change direction bringing out suitcases full of clothes that are throw wildly into the air and about the stage while the dancers impetuously change into new garb.   The dance ends as it began with the dancers placidly seated at tables, but dressed in a different wardrobe.

The performance lasted just over an hour without an intermission.  I like performances like this that are not real long and omit the intermission.  It makes for a pleasant experience that is not too taxing.  They are a young, energetic group that needs a sense of purpose beyond dancing for the sake of dance.  I might be tempted to go see them again, but I would like to see something with more substance and definitely better taste in the soundtrack.

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