Jessica Kondrath | The Movement presents Shared Spaces with RE | Dance Group and Renee Murray

Photo: Denise Leitner

Photo: Denise Leitner

22 August 2015 — LOS ANGELES, CA — Kondrath’s movement mesmerizes. The carving torso and limbs combined with challenging changes of level, reaching of limbs into twisted shapes, teetering balances, and darting limb accents reveal a level of deep control, clarity of focus, and understanding of the body as medium of message. Jessica Kondrath presented Shared Spaces at MiMoDa Studio on August 22, 2015 featuring three dance works for her company, Jessica Kondrath | The Movement. She also performed a duet with Reneé Murray, created by Murray and Kondrath, and shared the evening with RE | Dance Group, who presented two works. The collection of dances offered an array of aesthetic approaches to dance theatre.

Kondrath instills a deep emotional and visceral response in viewers. She powerfully connects the core and the limbs to convey an emotional, human experience, especially evident in the performance of You Can Be Anything, Forgotten or Lost (an excerpt from Fleeting), which I had seen before, but experienced more deeply this time with Taylor Worden’s powerful performance. Worden’s approach to space is secure, steadfast, uncompromising at middle level and high levels and in her floor work. The strength she portrays is compelling as she twists through the kinesphere, changing shape with resolute decisiveness and clarity with her powerful yet sensitive approach to Kondrath’s line and form.

Kayla Montgomery in "I Still Haven't Learned How to Dream Wide Awake" Photo: Denise Leitner

Kayla Montgomery in “I Still Haven’t Learned How to Dream Wide Awake” Photo: Denise Leitner

The Wit of Small Things, performed by Francesca Butler, Quetta Boyd, Shelby LaRosa, Michaela Marie Pickett, Kayla Montgomery, and Taylor Worden is a compelling work that holds rich layers of expressivity between movement and music revealing solid balances and pliable torsos that hollow, arch, and twist through Kondrath’s sinewy designs of the body in personal space to reveal the discovery of small, secret things that are hidden in plain sight. Dancers waver, balance, tip, turn, penché, and pas de chat, each in Kondrath’s own way. Exploring daydreams and dreamlike states, Shelby LaRosa, Kayla Montgomery, and Taylor Worden sensitively and resiliently performed I Still Haven’t Learned How to Dream Wide Awake, to music by Brian Wood.

With Jeanette & Barbara, choreographed by Reneé Murray and performed by the choreographer and Kondrath revealed two women who intermittently engage in a fairly remote relationship with one another. One woman uses movement qualities encompassing bound-flow carving that is strong and sustained, using pressing, central spatial tension, and force. The other woman engages in a free-flow, gentle, light force to initiate body part leading, turning, and shape change. The two varying forces meet up from time to time, side-by-side, and relate momentarily, only to once again be forces regulating through the world on their own.

RE | Dance Group presented two works. Abbott & Viv, choreographed and performed by Lucy Riner and Michael Estanich, explores a tenuous relationship between a man, a woman, and their material gain—represented by a large glass bowl. The Baroque cello music by J.S. Bach reveals that this dance was intended to be serious. While showing discomfort and irregularities about relating to one another, the dancers aim for the ultimate goal of obtaining the prized bowl for themselves, yet they reveal their false pretenses. The figurative representation of the bowl might have been strengthened had the symbol evolved to take on new meaning by the end. Riner and Estanich danced with tenacity, but the pretense of relationship and ultimate deceit could have been strengthened had the dancers modulated their energy qualities to reveal the different attitudes required to relate to one another while one covertly deceives.

Circle, run, spin, repeat; Lucy Riner’s solo What Brings Me to This Place seemed to be an autobiographical account of the daily life of an overworked dancer/mom/teacher/choreographer, who rides out the pattern of keeping all the cog wheels of a woman’s life spinning fluidly. To the energetic music of DJ High Maintenance, Riner makes circle after circle through the space, getting more and more lost in space, time, and her duties until she eventually runs out of steam. What Brings Me to This Place is a symbol, of many women’s lives, that signals to us that Wonder Woman’s job was really only designed for a cartoon character.

Allen Clark expertly designed lighting design for the evening.

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