Above: Justin Lynch in Amanda Selwyn's DETOUR, photo by Kokyat.
Friday June 22, 2012 - Last season my first encounter with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre was a very satisfying experience, so I was looking forward to tonight's performance of DETOUR at New York Live Arts. I had met Amanda at her studio earlier this year and was taken with her as a personality and with her creative style.
DETOUR proved just as engaging as Amanda's FIVE MINUTES had been last year. Several factors gave the evening a special place among recent dance events: an evocative collage of music was effectively blended with varied sonic colours and tempos, excellent lighting and projections, changes of costuming which gave each section of the work its own flavour, very fine and committed dancing, and a nearly-full house that seemed keenly attentive. At 50 minutes, DETOUR held our focus wthout over-staying its welcome. Overall, an ideal evening of dance.
DETOUR is set in three sections, each with sub-sections, which flow into one another. The dancing takes place in a dreamscape (design: John McDermott) in which floating translucent columns, lit from within, shift quietly to create new pespectives for each movement of the work. The back-panel is drenched in ever-changing rich colours; projections and shadowy films of the dancers complete the visual aspect of DETOUR which seems to shift from illusion to illusion as the dancers come and go.
Though essentially an ensemble piece, solo opportunities for the individual dancers abound (Alexander Dones, above); they move thru various encounters - romantic, ritualistic or antagonistic - without taking on specific relationships. The ever-shifting patterns of movement and partnering suggest a dream in which perceptons vary from moment to moment. The dancers are sexy and strong, with unique personalities which Selwyn allows them to manifest while maintaining the spirit of a mysterious tribe. Other-worldly aspects of the piece meld into a communal finale in which an awakening is implied.
Kokyat photographed the dress rehearsal of DETOUR and here is a series of his images from the work:
The opening ensemble: Illusions
Catherine Coury, Justin Lynch
Robert Vail, Justin Lynch, Fracisco Silvino
Joori Jung, Justin Lynch
An additional gallery of photos from DETOUR appears here.
All photography by Kokyat.