Thursday, October 22, 2009

Love, Loss of Innocence, Kidnapping, Murder...Dance?

This much we know--Marie, a beautiful blonde, is in an enviable position, loved by two men, Luca and Marcus. Her arms are exuberant, her legs passionate and her face alight with joy, as she pulls them to her, first one then the other, torn between her decision. Then she chooses. And that's when dangerous and dark things start happening. But no matter how bad it gets, the movements and the music are always captivating, emotional and enthralling.

Parsons Dance, together with the East Village Opera Company, both of New York, present "Remember Me," a modern dance ballet set to rocked up versions of recognizable opera arias and other compositions, as part of the Augusta Ballet's programming this season. With Abby Silva as Marie, Zac Hammer as Luca and Miquel Quinones as the dangerous Marcus, "Remember Me" shows us how dance and music can express emotions more raw and intense than words ever could.

A sheet, combined with choreography that makes the most use of the floor, shows Marie and Luca's new love, with all its fresh discoveries, through loving, flowing, giving motions. So what a harsh juxtaposition it is when two scenes later Marcus has abducted Marie and attempts to mimic the same choreography with the desperate, stiff and unwilling object of his affection.

Abandoned by Marcus after fighting off his advances, Marie is shamed and lost, unable to reach Luca and unable to be saved. She dies, and against a dark stage with a chorus of dancers circling in shadow, Marcus is killed by Luca after the discovery is made, only to have Luca kill himself at the horror of the murder he has committed.

The vocalists, Tyley Ross and Annmarie Milazzo, play the parts of an ancient Greek chorus in this tragedy, moving in and out of the scenes, at times a part of the action as Marie flirtatiously hides behind the male vocalist as Luca and Marcus pursue her, and sometimes playing their own separate roles in mimicry, as when the vocalists draw together into an intimate slow dance during Marie and Luca's love scene.

But there would be no satisfaction if Marie and Luca were not reunited, and the creators of "Remember Me" fulfill that satisfaction. With Marcus flitting in the background like an uneasy ghost, Marie and Luca spy one another across a room of dancing couples and joyously fling themselves together. And the emotional rollercoaster ends in their embrace and their love. And happily for the audience, they just can't stop dancing.

Photo credit:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Things to Be Happy About

I have this great little book that one of my good friends, Karly, gave me during college. Called 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, it's a completely random list of all the things that make the author, Barbara Ann Kipfer, happy. I love to thumb through it. It has gems like "boys in caps," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "giant popovers," "waiters smiling when they see you," and "huh?"-inspiring items like "the small masher to crush herbs or mash baby food or pack butter in tubs" (HUH?). So in honor of this, one of my favorite books, here's the start to my list. Maybe it will make me famous one day, like Barbara Ann (who I would love to meet). Or at the very least, will make me happy when I read it.

Sleeping dogs
John Schneider (Bo Duke)
Furry blankets
Chicken paella
My special recipe for seafood gumbo
Loving and being loved
The Family Channel's 24 days of Christmas
Photos of us being young and free and happy
Peacock blue (color)
Blue and white china, tablecloth, curtains
Asheville, NC
Charleston, SC
Fall festivals