American Cinema

Day Two of the Battery Dance Festival (Performance 7 of 7)

My favorite performance tonight goes to “American Cinema” by the Nadine Bommer Dance Company.

The first thing that struck me about this choreography was the movement quality. The five dancers donned nude-colored costumes and moved like wooden puppets on stage. The amount of details that went into the movement quality was stunning. The dancers’ arms would bound slightly at the end of a movement. Their legs would buckle ever so slightly as they stood. No photography can do this piece justice. You have to see the movements to understand how “real” the puppets felt.

Second, I loved the narrative. The piece is titled “American Cinema” and performed mostly on a set of vintage red velvet “movie theater” chairs. Accompanied by rock music by the Ween Brothers, the choreography evoked memories from the golden era of the American cinema. We never found what what movies the dancers were watching, but each song brought out a different story about our five characters. A flirtatious teenage girl. Boys asking girls out on a date. Making out at the movies. Interlaced with traumatic adolescence events, a boy and a girl finally got together, and so did two other boys.

A wonderfully imaginative and playful piece of dance theatre. Bravos, Nadine Bommer Dance Company!

“American Cinema” by Nadine Bommer Dance Company (2008)
Choreography: Nadine Bommer
Dancers: Jamison Goodnight, Delphina Parenti, Sammy Roth, Gaya Bomer Yemini, Maor Shiry Zuriel
Photography: Jason Chuang