WHO'S ON OUR CONTEMPORARY RADAR?
By. Megan Curet
Who is Soluq Dance Theater?
Soluq Dance Theater brings a fresh voice into the world of dance. Soluq is a contemporary dance company, offering a physical meeting place for audiences, artists, and performance space to merge. Soluq always strives to take the shared experience somewhere new and unexpected, enjoying the rush of challenging, new territories.
Soluq has three principles behind its work:
Ask relevant, hard cultural questions
Explore and challenge the barrier between artist and audience
Strip layers of artifice from honest, whole, art making
While a young company, Soluq showed up in full force at THE SERES 2017 hosted by The Moving Beauty Series at the Hudson Guild. THE SERIES 2017 presented the New York premieres Soluq Dance Theater's of ASH and Water, on Tuesday June 6th, 2017, 8 PM. In this age of raging despots and displaced peoples, the piece was urged to be an essential viewing. With uncompromising purity, shaking the soul while reminding all to stand against such horrors ever happening again.
Choreographed by Kevin Joseph Clark to Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, ASH (2012) was inspired by the Holocaust and the effort to connect events from long ago to today’s emerging generation of activists. Initially conceived as a dance film, for this concert Mr. Clark has staged the searing drama
ASH AND WATER
The piece Ash and Water begin and end in a dimly lit stage, dancers engaging with one another in what appears to be a tug of war for survival of life. Ripped clothing set the tone for costumes while make up add additional theatrical affects.
A talented cast of female contemporary dancers, Alison Adnet, Melanie DeGuzman, Emma Fitzsimmons, Lir Katz, Marija Obradovic, & Heather Robles all took turns leading the audience with their effective stage presence.
While the story line fell short on climax, was enriched by the diverse movement vocabulary brought to the stage by each dancer. One would have enjoyed a longer story arc in the choreographic approach. What started one way, seemed to also end the same way, leaving little hope for positivity. A bold move on the choreographers behalf to hand the audience a mirror image of what we see daily in the media, rather the casual approach of a joyful evening get away at the theater.
It is no worry, we can expect to see intense growth and development from both this diverse cast and the work we have yet to see from Clark. A contemporary dance company on our radar and should be on yours as well.
Who is AZOTH Dance Theatre?
Like many emerging companies, AZOTH Dance Theatre holds an honest mission, which is to create contemporary choreographic pieces while bringing their work to a global audience through affordable performances, workshops and outreach.
Their work stands powerfully, visceral, technical, emotionally driven, passionate and sensual. AZOTH Dance Theatre’s work has already been performed in the France, Poland, and Denmark, with upcoming Guatemala tour dates. While being hailed in France as "Inspiring, gracious and innovative (...), strongly expressive and dramatic" - Jean-Luc Vezon, La Renaissance. We are excited to see what comes next for them in NYC.
Combining dance theatre, modern, and ballet to form a full and diverse repertoire. Breton’s stunning commitment to AZOTH’s growth will surely be one of their strongest qualities. Whether taking the stage in a large stunning red skirt or an extravagant wedding gown, the costumes align directly with the choreographic and performance strengths brought to the stage by the AZOTH team.
It was a sold out evening at New York City Center studios on May 28th this spring, that brought me and choreographer Jonathan Breton to a short sit down over drinks on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We discussed what comes next, what we can look forward to and more. With invites to South Africa, India and Finland, AZOTH has a bright future coming on to the contemporary dance scene. Keep an eye out for this group of dancers.