Monday, February 8, 2016
Emotions Dance has a new rehearsal space at 105 Melody Lane west. Casselberry, FL. Founder and choreographer, Larissa Humiston, greeted me in the lobby. Others in the lobby turned out to be members of the Emotions Dance board of directors. They were here to see a full run through of the latest show entitled, UntoId Stories. This show explores stories of everyday life with a message of courage and hope. The performance engages audiences with stories about struggles to inspire dialogue and societal change.
The new rehearsal space is cavernous. Larissa let the board know that she has developed so m mad skills as a light in designer. Indeed each dance piece was colorfully lit, giving the individual piece their own color tone from warm to cool. The first dance had two dancers in black tights who wore white kabuki masks. This gave the dance a rather mysterious and primal feel. I was amazed by how many young new dancers were in the company. I didn't count but there must have been over a dozen. This allowed some dancers to rest and change costume as of he performed. Several powerful dancers from last year were gone, but I was amazed by the new talent.
The black costuming was replace by white flowing that its in the next dance. Earthy weighted movements turned to a graceful flowing routine. The spark that ignites each performance is always an inner emotion. A dancers face and body gesture can show that emotion and bring it to light. I usually identify with one dancers crisp performance and I follow that one dancer and use line to try and rediscover what they are expressing.
In the notes session after the run through, It became clear that different dancers helped choreograph each piece. In one dance, the performers wore loose men's stiff collared dress shirts. One dancer was bound in a red ribbon. The choreographer explained that it was a story about diabetes which is an invisible affliction. The ribbon was unfurled and it tied all the dancers together with one crimson line.
Other dances felt familiar, like being reunited with old friends. Larissa's touch must have been in those routines. Angst, hope, and striving all radiated through in the dances. The modern dance was at times gymnastic as dancers tumbled and supported each other. It takes an amazing amount of trust to know you will be caught when to fall.
Friday Feb 19 and Saturday Feb 20 at 8pm.
Lowndes Shakespeare Center’s Mandell Theatre (812 E. Rollins St. Orlando).
Pre-sale ticketing will be available until Feb 15 GA $18 and Students/Seniors are $14. At the door- general audience is $20 and Students/Seniors (65+) are $15