Shrill shrieks of modern dancers bounced off the walls of Miller Theatre—as did the dancers themselves—last night during the opening performance of “Barnard Dances at Miller.” The performance showcased three original works, including a new ballet by Lisa de Ribere, and a re-creation of Laura Dean’s Sky Light. Quarter Past Blue, a contemporary piece by Jodi Melnick, commenced the evening with silence and subtlety of movement, lighting, and costume. As the piece progressed, small isolated motions developed into vast and sharp movements. The music of the piece advanced in a similar fashion; originally absent, it built up from miniscule sounds to Karinne Keithly’s cover of The Smiths’ “Please, Please, Please” to the original version of the song. Overall, Quarter Past Blue presented a perfect balance of fluidity and rigidity that comprised a well-executed piece.
The following piece, entitled Strung and choreographed by Bill Young in conjunction with the dancers, was the most exhilarating and impressive of the evening and the source of the previously mentioned shrill shrieks. Dancers fiercely flailed about, tumbled off the stage, and sprung off of walls—all with the utmost control and technique. Strung, ever haunting, mysterious, and suspenseful, left the audience enthused and inquisitive at intermission.
Laura Dean’s Sky Light, reconstructed by Rodger Belman, recaptured the audience with its precision and live drumming by Jason Cirker and Matt Spataro. Sky Light featured bold and profound movements in addition to an innovative use of formations and lighting. However, abundant repetition proved tiring for the easily distracted. Following Sky Light was The Trout, an original ballet by Lisa de Ribere. The Trout featured all dancers en pointe, which was refreshing and beautifully executed. The ballet was flirtatious, fun, fluid, and entertaining. The Trout light-heartedly concluded “Barnard Dances at Miller.”
“Barnard Dances at Miller” shows today at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Miller Theatre. Tickets, available at Miller, are $12 with CUID and $20 without.
Photo via Barnard Events