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Dancing In The Ether

Dance Entropy Explores The Continuum of Time & Space

skimming the surface dance entropy green space licFebruary 21, 2013 / Dance in Queens / LIC Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. I received a rare treat on Wednesday morning when I went to preview the dance performances planned for this weekend at Green Space in LIC. The weekend celebration includes five dance pieces, three of which are being premiered and two of which have been performed and perfected.

I was one of only a handful of people in the audience, as the dancers did one last rehearsal before their opening performance Thursday evening February 21, 2013. The photo above was taken at the dress rehearsal performance of Skimming the Surface by Dance Entropy at Green Space in LIC.

Click here for a short description of each performance and a slide show of Skimming the Surface by Dance Entropy at Green Space in LIC, as well as a bit longer exploration into one of the new pieces. The report also includes a couple of interviews with the dancers.


Dancing In The Ether

Dance Entropy Explores The Continuum of Time & Space

February 21, 2013 / Dance in Queens / LIC Neighborhood / Queens Buzz. Continued. I arrived a bit before the rehearsal was to begin, and found a comfortable spot from dance entropy lic queenswhere I would watch the performances. The room was toasty warm, enabling the dancers to fully express themselves with bare limbs and shoulders, light clothing and movements encompassing both the spirited and the languid.

Thread - Dance Entropy Repertory

The first performance was entitled Thread. It was performed by three dancers [see credits below] who wove in and out of movements on the dance floor. I found this to be a beautiful piece, aesthetically appealing as the dancers all wore the same blue denim outfits and held yogic-like poses for only seconds at a time. Valerie Green, Julia Sabangan and Kirsten Licata perform Thread at Green Space in LIC.

After the performances I interviewed Valerie Green, the choreographer [and also one of the dancers], about how she approaches her work. She told me that she looks for various strengths within the dancers with whom she works, and tries to create the dances modern dance in queenswith them in mind. Thread, she told me, was “dance for dance sake.” I knew what she meant, as Thread seemed to showcase the beauty of the three women performing it, as they lithely moved about the stage, in timely synchronized patterns, providing a pleasing aesthetic to watch. In the photo to your right, Julia Sabangan performs in Thread.

Dance Entropy Performs At Green Space in LIC

The second piece was entitled Skimming The Surface which was to premiere on Thursday. This piece, the longest of the evening, was as much theater as it was dance. After the show, Val told me that this dance ‘came to her’ slowly, over time. All of her choreography, she said, begins with an idea that marinades in her mind. Over time the dancers roles emerge, and the props begin to make themselves known by their absence. In time she begins working with the dancers to define the roles more precisely.

modern dance studios in queens licSkimming The Surface is about finding and filling the void within. The knives represent the tools we use to cut away the outer layers as we probe our own being. The table represents community, where we come together in good times and where conflicts arise as well.

Skimming The Surface - Dance in LIC

The dance opens with four dancers strewn around an overturned table. They are all wearing black smocks and fashionable army boots. They arise out of the chaos, restore the table to its proper position, and begin moving about the dance floor in what seems like separate universes. Perhaps they’re discovering themselves, like children slowing learning who they are.

In time they begin interacting with one another in an almost synchronized fashion. They begin paring up, using the knives to peel back the layers, theatrically daring to hurt queens dance companiesthemselves, but not really. A series of little dramas ensue, as they watch one another while continuing to dance through their own steps. We witness fear, angst and envy in their faces. They gang up on one to take her down. Another emerges as a sort of leader … for a moment. They come together happily .. for another moment. And then we see sadness in their eyes. At the end they become one big entangled mass of humanity. Kristen Licata is shown performing Skimming The Surface with Dance Entropy in Green Space in LIC.

Val talked about how the dance starts and ends. In the middle, she said. It’s all part of a long, long continuum. Like lives that just keep going, surmising that perhaps our lives are a series of lives that began centuries or millennia ago, and may go on and on. Karl Jung seemed to come to mind, along with the collective unconscious; but she told me that that wasn’t it. Intermission followed.

Modern Dance Performances in LIC & Queens

valerie green photos lic queensCon-Joined was next. This dance involved two dancers who seem to represent a couple with their ups and downs, eventually ending in divorce.

Secret of the Girl of the Flowers was the next piece. This is a solo by Val who told me that the piece is about transformation, beauty and ugliness. There’s a long line of flowers that starts with a pile, turns at a pile and ends in a pile. The flower girl, danced by Val, comes down the lifeline in a series of explorations and interactions with the flowers, ending in a haunting laugh. Valerie Green is shown in the photo to your right, performing the Secret of the Girl of the Flowers.

Last, but not least, was a repertory piece I’d seen several years ago. It’s entitled Twilight. One of the original dancers for the piece returned to perform one of the lead roles in it, and I had the opportunity to interview her after the rehearsal.

While Amy Adams doesn’t live here anymore, she’s still very much connected with Dance Entropy. Amy has been dancing with Val for about five years now and the women appear to have a respectful, collaborative working relationship. Amy talked about the theater implicit in Val’s work and how she enjoyed the community that’s been evolving around Green Space.

Professional Dancers in Queens - Dance Entropy

green space licShe and Kristin Licata [in photos to right], who I also interviewed, are among the dancers with the longest continuous affiliation with Dance Entropy and Val. Kristin talked about taking ownership of the performer’s role in the dance, and sometimes working with Val to modify it. Val had said something similar in that she choreographed pieces to suit the dancers. Kristen also talked about working through every step, every movement to make it her own and then doing it in tandem with the other dancers so she could feel herself in her role in the larger performance context.

In Twilight, both Amy and Kristen, performed as angelic Greek goddesses, floating around the dance floor with the other heavenly angels of Dance Entropy’s dance troupe. And so ended the rehearsal, with the dancers taking a bow [see photo below].

Thanks & Performance Credits For Dance Entropy’s 15th Anniversary

  • dance entropy licI. Thread - Kristen Licata, Julia Sabangan, Valerie Green
  • II. Skimming The Surface – Kristen Licata, Julia Sabangan, Yayoi Suzuki, Raleigh Veach
  • III. Con-Joined - Kristen Licata, Julia Sabangan
  • IV. Secret of the Girl of the Flowers – Valerie Green
  • V. Twilight – Amy Adams, Emily Diers, Laureen Elizabeth, Hana Ginsberg, Kristen Licata, Yayoi Suzuki, Raleigh Veach

All pieces were choreographed by Valerie Green.

Dance Entropy - Photo Slide Show of Skimming The Surface - LIC

Click on the buttons to move through this slide show at your own pace, or click here to view the gallery of photos of Skimming The Surface by Dance Entropy in LIC.


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