Saturday June 25, 2011 - Coming down to the wire after my busiest few weeks ever, I spent the afternoon watching some of my favorite NYCB dancers at Tom Gold's studio (more about that later), then headed downtown to experience a new company: Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre. I hardly ever get a chance to try something different because my calendar is so full, but the publicist who invited me to Selwyn cunningly attached photos by Paula Lobo (above) and Christopher Duggan to her invitation. Both the dancers and the stage images caught my fancy. I'm glad I went: FIVE MINUTES was 100% enjoyable.
As my friend Tom and I found our seats at Dance Theater Workshop, the projection of a large digital clock onstage was ticking down the seconds til the performance began. It started on the dot and ran in a series of finely-paced scenes for exactly 55 minutes.
Working with a compilation score, each movement of which lasts five minutes, Selwyn presents her six dancers in ten seemingly un-related short works each with different costumes, lighting, projections and moods. The underlying theme is the passage of time and how we spend it; some of these vignettes flew by, others took a more leisurely pace. Working in various combinations (solo, duo, trio, ensemble) Selwyn's very attractive dancers each have ample opportunity for both technical and personal expression. The dancing was excellent, the ever-changing musical and visual settings giving each dancer the possibility to explore many moods.
As the evening unfolded, there were some particulary luminous moments such a the sustained, lyrical duet for Robert Vail and Joori Jung (above, Christopher Duggan photo). Later, two strikingly beautiful men, Francisco Silvino and Louie Marin, dance conjoined solos in pools of light, the musculature of their torsos set aglow.
Throughout the evening the lighting and projections created dreamlike settings (Paula Lobo image, above) which wrapped the dancers in colour or created chiaroscuro effects. Each five-minute segment held the imagination. There were moments of wit but they never descended to cuteness; the dancers did speak briefly: "You have five minutes..."
Paula Lobo image, above. In less than an hour, Amanda Selwyn and her troupe had given us dance that was entertaining and lovely to watch along with a reminder that time is fleeting: use yours wisely.
We came out into the Chelsea evening where the streets had a special energy: on the eve of Gay Pride Day 2011, the New York City gay community and their suppportive friends had much to celebrate.
Dancers: Jenny Gillan, Ashleigh Gurtler, Joori Jung, Louie Marin, Francisco Silvino, Robert J. Vail
Sound Design for Five Minutes by Joel Wilhelmi. Costume Design is by Anna-Alisa Belous. Lighting Design is by Dan Ozminkowski. Projection Design is by C. Andrew Bauer. Scenic Design is by Tom Gleeson. Stage Manger: Tiffany Tabatchnick.