Amy Seiwert’s Imagery

Amy Seiwert’s Imagery delivered the best show so far at this year’s Joyce Ballet Festival. Two more chances to see “Wandering” by Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. Get your tickets for tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at the Joyce Theater!

“I won’t listen to the heart’s complaints.
I won’t listen to its fears.
I’m content to wander.
Through the wind and the snow.” – Wilhelm Müller

I love so many aspects of Amy’s work tonight: the story telling, the aesthetics, and the exquisite dancing delivered by Anthony Cannarella, Alysia Chang, James Gilmer, Tina Laforgia Morse, Jackie Nash, Ben Needham-Wood, Gabriel Smith, and Shania Rasmussen. Bravos!!!

I would totally go back and see them again, if I had not already committed myself to seeing Paul Taylor and Bolshoi over the next two evenings.

The evening-length work explores the stories of a lost wanderer. Dancers in the company took turns to represent the wanderer. The stories are rich and emotional. They are as relevant to a traveller on a physical road — as they are to young adults growing up, searching for their place in life.

Here’s how I interpreted some of the stories. A lost traveller sought to orientate himself and find friendly companions for his trip. Another was sent on her journey reluctantly, but nevertheless braved every challenge along the way. Others wandered emotionally. A lost soul, searching for just one person, one true friend, one love, who would accept him for who he was but never did. Another looked beyond herself, reached out to all those around her, brought everyone together, and became a pillar of the community. Yet, another ran from the harsh realities of the world, before his choices ran out and a path was forced on him.

Artistically, Amy kept the essence of the ballet, its beautiful lines, and extensions, but added her distinct vocabulary with the arms and torsos. The end result was stunningly coordinated movements among her eight dancers, a strong sense of emotional connection amongst the dancers and with the audience.

I love her use of space. Layering to create depth, and small details such the snowfall to create height, and a record player on the side to create a sense of time.

I love her minimalist set involving only a black backdrop, eight lanterns, and the aforementioned record player. Together with a simple (but lovely) costume design, the bulk of the wonderful storytelling was delivered through pure elegant ballet.

I love her use of tempo. Her dancers delivered many a wonderful leap but, more significantly, they also slowed down to emphasize key moments. So slow, in fact, sometimes it took them minutes to cross half a stage. The end result, however, was amazing dance theatre.

I love her use of foreground and background dancers. Every space on stage was always filled but nothing was ever too busy. Instead, the “background” activities subtly enhanced the “foreground.” As a beautiful pas de deux took place, six dancers, three in front of and three behind the couple, walked ever-so-slowly across the stage without any expression. Focussing on the “foreground” duet, I saw a couple finding each other, falling in love, and building a relationship. As I looked at the entire stage, however, I saw a two lovers lost in an ocean of people….

… Would ANYONE ever know of their story? Or, are they JUST another pair of lost wanderers in this world?