TEEN AMBASSADOR: LUCY SCHWARTZ | FEBRUARY 27, 2016
Despite the dance company’s name, BODYTRAFFIC, the only type of gridlock present during the show was after the Zeiterion’s fire alarm went off and the audience had to evacuate the building.
Rated under Dance Magazine’s “Top 25” Dance Companies To Watch, BODYTRAFFIC is made up of nine dancers -Christina Bodie, Melissa Bourkas, Joseph Kudra, Lindsey Matheis, Spencer Ramirez, Matthew Rich, Guzmán Rosado, and Micaela Taylor. The show was broken up into three parts, “And At Midnight, The Green Bride Floated Through The Village Square…,” “Dust,” and “O2Joy.”
The show began with a tolling bell, a lone spotlight, and a woman holding a flower vase. “And At Midnight, The Green Bride Floated Through The Village Square…” was based on a story of the choreographer, Barak Marshall’s, mother’s neighbors in Aden, Yemen. I don’t know much, or anything, about Yemeni culture, but from the way this work was choreographed, there were misogynist undertones and a dominating male presence. Men described to women how to cook different animals with some pretty transparent sexual innuendos and one woman had her feet put into shoes on a plank of wood and nailed to it. A soundtrack of goats bleating was the pièce de résistance to this tribute to life in Yemen.
“Dust,” to me, was reminiscent of a dystopian George Orwell novel with a dash of communist Russia. Three women and men danced over the music which was a combination of white noise and men and women talking. The full body movement that was employed in the choreography, Hofesh Shechter and Chris Evans, was fluid, dramatic, and commanding, like the movements belonging to the Chinese martial art of Baguazhang. An overvoice repeatedly stating, “Something to fight for, something to live for, something to die for,” was the final nail in the “creepy coffin” for me. Looking back on it, I think the most accurate word to describe it would be “avant garde.”
The final episode to this trio of acts was “O2Joy” and it was the one that I, and the rest of the audience, seemed to like the most. It had a completely different feel to it in comparison to the first two works, with music from Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, and Glenn Miller. The jazzy music had the dancers moving with more energy and brighter auras and truly made you wonder, “how can someone be that flexible in jeans?” In contrast to, . “And At Midnight, The Green Bride Floated Through The Village Square…,” the choreography was more liberal as well. The dancing was done at first between one woman and two men, then that trio was replaced on stage with a different man and two women, and in both trios, all participants played equal roles in the choreography. Not only was this work more upbeat, but when one of the male dancers began lip-syncing along to Billie Holiday as he danced, it had the audience laughing.
For a fun night at the Zeiterion, that will make you want to jump into a leotard, move to Yemen, or spend more time in jazz clubs, come see BODYTRAFFIC.