Nov 19

DJD’s The Gravity Players is a diversified evening of dance

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments


Here is what you need to know about Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ The Gravity Players. It is a collection of pieces that is unlike any productions that they have put on in a long time. The performances range from safe and mundane, to daring and edgy. It is a good way for DJD to open their season.

To kick off the night, the production opens with Nvisibilia, a piece choreographed by Apolonia Velasquez and Ofilio Sinbadinho. This will have you saying ‘woah’ out loud. The piece has a strong pulse that is sustained throughout the entire performance and the movement is fierce. Costuming by Deitra Kayln has the dancers in unique black costuming and the lighting design highlights the intricate movements. Nvisibilia has a bit of darkness to it and is quite fierce while being daring in how it pushes movement. It is the most engaging piece of the night.

Autumn Celeste features choreography by Sarisa F. de Toledo and explores the themes of being an immigrant in a place. Danced by two couples with a revolving stand in the middle of the stage. The choreography leads the couples around the stage with movement that alludes to the struggles of settling in somewhere new. This piece has sequences that are quite engaging but is a little less lustrous in comparison to the opening production.

When Winter is Over is a piece choreographed by Hanna Kiel and displays the grace and beauty of the dancers. The first part of this performance is quite dramatic with music that seems to be working up to a peak, but it features the same sequence of movement repeatedly. It becomes a bit dull, even though the production is quite over the top. Once there is a break and the dancers move beneath falling flower petals, the choreography becomes more complex and beautiful.

DJD’s production then take a turn for the theatrical in the presentation of Madcap Junction with choreography by Deanne Walsh. This is a performance with clown costumes, red and black and white, adorned with polka dots. It’s a story of an magician who controls his clowns, making them do as he pleases. Though this piece is quite fun, the movement could be tighter and more precise. The theatrics could be more pointed and sharp as the movement was too loose and soft for the aim of the piece.

To close, the company revisited The Black Saint, a classic piece choreographed by Kimberley Cooper. It has dancers moving to jazz music by Charles Mingus with strong piano and horns. Dancers are costumed in formal dresses and the movement features lifts and spins. This piece doesn’t push the boundaries of movement but has solid choreography.

DJD’s collection of pieces features quite a bit of diversity and this makes The Gravity Players an intriguing evening of dance. Just know that the narrative of movement of the show starts off on a high note and ends in a classic way.

DJD’s The Gravity Players runs at Theatre Junction Grand until November 21st. More information is available online.

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