Breaking Ground 2015 Delivered Strong Dance and Film, But More Would Have Been Nice

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Saturday's program opened with "Bloom Inscribed" choreographed by Maria Gillespie and Nguyên Nguyên, who describe it as a meditation on "home." Text projected behind the stage offered simple queries: Is this a good place to begin? Are you thinking of someone now? Shadows and images of dancers Gillespie and Nguyên captured by on-stage video equipment accentuate their movements towards and away from one another.

At times, they share a rectangular patch of grass-like turf. Other times, they retreat to their own small patch, move between them, or seem enveloped by them. It succeeded as both meditation and multi-media dance work, and was among Saturday night's best.

Still, it's really Joshua L. Peugh's Critics of the Morning Song, performed by Peugh and Alex Karigan Farrior, that stole the show. Their movement, and theatricality, was perfectly nuanced - and their comedic timing spot-on.

Using three different takes on the song "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" (by Ray Conniff, Judy Garland (accompanied by then husband David Rose), and Perry Como, dancers conjure familiar moments in coupledom, from unbridled bliss to abject annoyance.

Additional dances on the Saturday program were This is My Hallejulah choreographed by Keith Johnson and Red Belt choreographed by Nadar Rosano. Both programs included a single film, and each was a strong piece of cinematography.

On Friday it was ME: a story of performance by filmmakers Jopsu and Timo Ramu. Directed by Jopsu Ramu, it featured performance by Johanna Nuutinen, who moves between underwater and seemingly snow-covered environments to represent the ways performance is viewed differently by audience and artist.

On Saturday, it was A Juice Box Afternoon by filmmaker Lily Baldwin, the solo performer in the piece. Rich is storytelling, her work explores the inner life of author Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who married famed aviator Charles Lindbergh. Baldwin took us on a delightful journey through nostalgia and neurosis.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble