Friday, March 18, 2016

Preview: The Next Step

THE MARK dance company is presenting their first evening length show this weekend as part of the Charlotte Dance Festival so I thought I'd write a preview:

Being a dancer/choreographer, myself, I find the mark of good performance work is that it gives me the itch to jump in the studio and create.  And that is just what I wanted to do following one of Arlynn Zachary’s final rehearsals for THE MARK dance company’s upcoming performance as part of the Charlotte Dance Festival.  THE MARK will be presenting their first evening (or rather afternoon) length show,  The Next Step on Saturday at 12pm in the Duke Energy Theater.  The show will serve as a showcase of work spanning the four years of the company’s existence.  

I find myself inspired by Artistic Director Arlynn Zachary’s unique and powerful movement qualities, her creative use of props and the diversity of the work being presented in The Next Step.  Arlynn has always exhibited a very specific and detailed style of movement and has found dancers to match her intensity and captive stage presence.  

The afternoon of work includes process-based explorations including “Describe This!” and “Re-Set” which will serve to allow audiences a peek into the rehearsal and creation process of modern dance.  Both works will educate audiences and hopefully add context not only to the other works presented in The Next Step, but also works seen throughout the weekend of the Charlotte Dance Festival.  The development of these pieces is fascinating and the movement fully developed and lovely.  

“Figure 8” and “Axiom” explore fascinating uses of mundane props.  “Figure 8” is a chair dance with the chair acting as a support allowing the three dancers to showcase the strength and control of their beautiful bodies.  This work is made all the more alluring by Arlynn’s casting choice, including dancers of three diverse body types.  “Axiom” will encourage audiences to rethink the ballet barre and it’s purpose in the dance studio.  

Filling out Zachary’s diverse movement style are “Paloria” and “Q.C. Me”.  “Paloria” pays homage to the traditional modern dance of our fore-mothers and fathers.  Set to eloquent choral music, Arlynn’s detail- oriented choreography is well served in this space.  The dancers move as one with heads tilted to the same degree of precision.  “Q.C. Me” fuses modern dance and jazz movement and explores the role of women in the business world. This piece is fun, elegant and distinct from the other works presented in The Next Step.  

Allow yourself to be “marked” by the eclectic body of work presented in The Next Step.  This showcase is full of powerful dancers exploring unique and diverse movement experiences.  

THE MARK dance company’s The Next Step
Saturday March 19th, 2016
Duke Energy Theater, Sprit Square
Tickets: $15-$25
Presented by: Charlotte Dance Festival

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