By Walter Rutledge
Kymera Dance began their 2014 New York season on Sunday, May 25 at the Goldman-Sonnenfeldt Family Auditorium, JCC in Manhattan. The season featured two world premieres by commissioned artist Amy Hall Garner and Artistic Director William Isaac. The performance was a well-balanced and artistically succinct program, which successfully conveyed both choreographers’ intents and individual styles.
The evening felt move like a showcase then a production. Isaac understood less is sometimes more, and this worked to the company’s advantage. The evening was a focused exchange; that thankful lacked over choreographed, and long verbose movement diatribes.
Change by Amy Hall Garner was a very pleasant and extremely musical duet for Khalia Campbell and Raven McRae. Hall approached the multiple sectioned work with movement that moved with ease and fluidity. Instead of merely following the music, Hall was able to create her own music through the dance.
McRae moved with a cool assuredness that complimented her strong technical base. One such moment was a slow triple attitude turn that was so in sync with the music that it reminisced a figurine on a jewelry box. Throughout she danced with her entire body, which gave all the movement completeness.
Campbell’s stature gives her a regal command of the stage. Her attack was surprisingly nimble, and she articulated movement from her powerful center. Regardless of whether it is undulating her torso, performing split leaps or off-balance extensions Campbell effortlessly executed every task. He long and lathe limbs seemed to engulf the space.
Aperture of Time by William Isaac began as a trio with Campbell, McRae and Jason Herbert. The work quickly moved into an introspective duet for Campbell and McRae. Isaac fashioned a very stylish work where the spatial relationships were as important as the physical interaction. The subtle gestures developed into a vocabulary and were brilliantly offset by stillness, which gave the secondary negative spaces, the spaces around the movement, visual value.
A solo performed by Jason Herbert followed. Hubert is a gifted performer who has the ability to communicate with his body. Sinuous and sensuous, he moves with an innate inner fire.
The closing section featured Campbell and Herbert in a duet that was much more conversational. Here stillness was also effectively implemented and created strong juxtaposition between the primary and secondary action. One devise that was used to full advantage was placing Campbell and Herbert with one dancer facing the downstage and the other upstage. This required the dancer to not only dance, but to communicate with their backs. The section maintained the aesthetic integrity of the work while interjecting new movement and reintroducing elements from the opening duet.
Kymera Dance achieved a strong artistic dichotomy. We applaud Isaac for presenting a concert with only three performers, which courageously brought the movement and the performers equally to the forefront. The season is a success for both the dancers and choreographers. Kymera Dance will conclude the season on Monday, May 26 with two performances at 5pm and 7pm.