The 2011 Florida Dance Festival returns to Tampa once again offering an eclectic mix of brilliant performances from top talent across the nation. First in the series was the thought-provoking “An Evening of Physically Integrated Dances,” including excerpts from Full Radius Dance “A Path Beyond” and Heather Maloney’s unconventional excerpt from “Vertical Sprawl.”
The term physically integrated represents dance companies that utilize performers both with and without disabilities. They are able to use the challenges in having a seemingly wheelchair-restricted performer as an advantage in creating a unique routine.
Maloney produced her hybrid work to ask us as individuals, and as a society, to look at the extreme changes in our world and question if we are to begin a new order or start the cycle again. It’s a sequence influenced by factors such as the recent economic woes spurring from living greed-filled lives; extinction of ancient languages; Wagner’s Ring, a 15-hour opera made of four separate works ridden with mythological tragedies; and the self-destruction of the mysterious Easter Island and its Birdmen.
The hybrid performance gracefully incorporates powerful audio, visual and theatrical approaches to paint its story. A range of conventional dance movements and out-of-the-box techniques conveyed the turmoil between infectious yearnings and having self-control.
The performers included three able-bodied women and a gentleman in a wheelchair who represented various acts of self indulgence through dance techniques landing in pyramid stances on the back of the wheelchair. At one point the chair was tipped it to its side and, in a dance-like way, smothered by the three women. At other times, instances portraying control and dominance could be seen as one person would restrain another by pushing the chest away or forcing the head to the ground for a period of time.
The ultimate act of compassion was revealed when one woman came to the man who was no longer confined to his wheelchair. She carried him on her hands and knees across the floor until the other two women joined. Together, they slowly rose until he was standing with one arm powerfully raised in the air. The excerpt concluded with all four performers at rest on the floor. For the bow, they remained on the floor in seated, wheelchair-like positions.
Choreography and artist director of Inkub8 Heather Maloney
Composer Juan Carlos Espinosa
Dancers John Beauregard, Carlota
Pradera, Heather Maloney, Elana Lanczi
Lighting Design Thomas Fonseca