By design, emotion saturated the premiere of “Sound & Silence: The Rhythms of Life” from Tapestry Dance Company in its season opener. Moody lighting, intense colors and minimal but expressive costumes and props set the stage at the Rollins Studio Theatre in the Long Center for the Performing Arts.
All this amplified the company’s exploration of eight basic emotions in eight short dances at the core of the show.
This took guts. Mimesis is not always the friend of dance. Anger can look like fear which can resemble distrust and sadness. Trust and anticipation are mixed up easily with joy and surprise.
Yet each segment, which featured the primary company member who designed and narrated that portion, employed personal visual and audio dialects within the realm of rhythm dancing. The “silence” of the title was reinforced by the supporting performers who danced “voiceless” without their tap shoes.
Tzahi Ben-Meir’s “Anger” achieved a ferocious, digging intensity, while Zeke Zimmerman’s “Anticipation” an off-kilter frivolity. Siobhan Alexis’ “Fear” spiraled down an emotional drain; Jesse Berry’s “Sad” shifted among ambiguities; Denis Morita’s “Trust” unfolded into a pan-dance of release. In Act II, Madeleine Owens’ “Distrust” pivoted between waltzy optimism and withdrawal; Avalon Rathgeb’s “Surprise” turned into a playfully executed ball game; Andrea Torres’ cheeky “Joy” radiated good feelings.
Yet my favorite numbers, put together by Tapestry artistic director Acia Gray, were the group efforts, especially “Together Yet Lonely,” set to the bubbly, electronia version of “(One) Is the Loneliest Number” as recorded on “Brazil Remixed” and featuring Leslie King. Often to congruent jazz, these larger numbers seemed to unify and synthesize the emotions analyzed in the constituent dances.
REVIEW: ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is pure escapist hilarity