Richmond Dance Festival 2019, Weekend Two: Exploring Facets of Modern Dance

by | May 10, 2019 | DANCE / THEATRE

The second weekend of the Richmond Dance Festival at Dogtown Dance Theatre was different from the previous weekend, with major diverging forms of modern dance being prevalent throughout. The audience was still able to experience some diversity in dance, from one piece of contemporary ballet to one piece of salsa bachata, but the varying takes on modern dance made the lasting impressions that I took away from the weekend. In fact, one film and three dances were just the breaths of fresh air discussed as we left for the evening.

Here’s a discussion of all the pieces presented over the course of the weekend.

“Weightless,” directed by German Prieto, choreographed by Mateo Galindo Torres and Falciony Patiño

Creating a second layer within this film, the director captured choreography performed on ceilings, but with the camera upside down to disorient the viewer into confusing up with down. “Weightless” invites the viewer to an alternate reality, a reality where unbreakable rules are merely optional.

“Inappropriate Miss,” choreographed by LaWanda S. Raines, performed by Amil Giunti, Kelly Hamlin, Deedra Harris, LaWanda S. Raines, William Sterling Walker, Natalya Watts

Hosting an all-black cast of dancers, “Inappropriate Miss” was half modern dance and half performance art. The speaker, Raines, gave advice for a woman coming-of-age to the audience. This involved ideas of coming to terms with their body, and the negative ways outside judgment and influence affect the development of a young girl’s worldview.

“The In-Between,” choreographed by Kara Robertson, performed by KARAR DANCE COMPANY

Kara Robertson and her upcoming company, KARAR DANCE, have started to gain attention as they creep their way into several of this past year’s local modern dance performances. In this particular piece, each dancer entrances the audience with carefully chosen red garments and thoughtfully simple choreography. “The In-Between” also featured a strong, perplexing projection that the company dancers used as a backdrop, providing a multidisciplinary aspect.

“Casita (Excerpt),” choreographed by Robert Priore, performed by PrioreDance with Company | E

Relatively new in his company’s life, Priore is on to something with his modern, choreographic take. His moves are vivid and forward, so this excerpt of “Casita” was a treat to witness in Richmond. Borrowing company members of Company | E to perform, PrioreDance not only exhibited its connections with the industry, but demonstrated the skill to execute choreography with renowned dancers.

Be sure to make it out to Weekend Three of Richmond Dance Festival, this Friday and Saturday, May 10th and 11th, at Dogtown Dance Theatre, located at 109 W. 15th St in Manchester. Admission is $15 for students, $20 for the general public; tickets can be purchased at Dogtown Dance Theatre’s website.

Christopher McDaniel

Christopher McDaniel

Christopher Alan McDaniel is a 2015 VCU graduate with his Bachelor’s in English and a minor in Creative Writing. Chris aspires to be a collegiate professor of writing in his future. Until then, you can find him hosting free public creative writing workshops with the Filthy Rich and writing grants for Dogtown Dance Theatre. Chris can also be found around Richmond’s breweries and music venues enjoying what the city has to offer.

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