John DiDonna Productions in collaboration with choreographers McClaine Timmerman and Jill Lockhart presents “IDentify” An original dance experience. I went to a rehearsal at The Venue, (511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, Florida). There were just two dancers there when I arrived, Darcy Ricciardi and Elise Frost. Brittany Wine entered and began organizing the chairs. It became obvious that this was the first time the show was being performed at The Venue. Blue Star, who owns The Venue, came in and welcomed everyone. I decided I wanted a high vantage point, so I asked Helen, The Venue's stage manager, if I could climb up into the Tech booth. She was fine with that and even found me a stool.
The show fused elements of hip hop and modern dance, It presented a multimedia exploration of how we as individuals and as a society find, lose, transform, and express our identities as we progress through life. The performance, offered a synthesis of dance, videography, music, spoken word, and photography. It was both a lighthearted and somber commentary on the human experience. It delved deep into the question we all seek to answer: “Who am I?”
Before the full run through of the show, McClain addressed the cast, "You should give everything you got tonight. I'll be the only one in the audience and I am your biggest fan. I love you all and support your every effort." That love, support and camaraderie was felt as the cast stretched and interacted together, and it flowed through the whole show. One of the dancers, Kim Matovina, looked exactly like McClain. I kept looking back and forth doing double takes. It made me wonder, what makes McClain unique? How is it I could misidentify her?
The show began with three females in tight black dresses putting on red high heeled shoes. They read fashion magazines and a narrator explained to them how dress to catch a man. Caffeine was out and they should drink eight cups of water a day. When they held the magazines up over their faces, it was like a mask showing the fashion model's face replacing their own. That would be the image I'd want to catch for the show's poster. Elise gave a hilarious hyper monologue talking to the audience at 90 miles an hour. She would try and calm herself down with quick bouts of yoga breathing. She was laugh out loud funny!
Video presented scenes of the dancer's everyday lives, jobs, friends warmth and angst. In one clip, McClain danced freely on a foot bridge and her dog padded up to her with curiosity. Lovers lay side by side watching as the other slept. It became clear that the dancers were sharing everything, their doubts and convictions. It was heart warming to watch, even as I battled with line and color upstairs. They drew me in and warmed me.
WHEN: Only three performances remain... Tonight, Friday April 26th- 7:30pm, Saturday April 27th- 7:30pm, and Sunday April 28th- 2:30pm
WHERE: The Venue, Orlando 511 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 Ivanhoe Village www.thevenueorlando.com
TICKETS: $15.00 general / $12.00 student and senior For reservations please call (407) 721-3617 beginning March 2013 – cash only at door For credit card pre-orders please use www.redchairproject.com beginning in April 2013