Dancers' Viewpointe 10

by Dance

Electrifying is a word often used in conjunction with much-awaited performances. True to form, it appears several times in the Crimson article and promotional material for Dancers' Viewpointe 10, which opened at the New College Theatre last weekend and continues through Saturday. Thanks to this sort of conditioning, we perhaps grow accustomed to the intense build-up to such performances, the crackling of programs and rustling in seats, the anticipation for something truly special to unfold on stage.Dancers' Viewpointe marks a celebration of ten years of dance at Harvard. The performance features a medley of rarely performed works by Alvin Ailey as well as original works by Trey McIntyre and Dance Program director Elizabeth Weil Bergmann and instructor Jodi Leigh Allen.And yes, it was electrifying. For me, the pieces that were most shockingly beautiful were also the quietest, works which combined graceful physicality and strength with a thoughtful, intense introspection. Mediating between the languid and the confrontational, the sinewy forms of the dancers revealed highly emotional, mentally rigorous stories. Dance is, in many ways, one of the more physical performing arts, and there are moments when the sheer talent and ability of the dancers is indeed inspiring. And yet, for all its focus on the body, dance can also be highly cerebral and visceral, playing with the thoughts or, still more powerfully, wrenching the emotions of the audience. Dance can further display innovation, as in the case of the several pieces which debuted on the NCT stage, or reflect on history, telling stories whose resonance is felt across decades. Dance can speak to the triumph of the individual (or the duet) performing a solo piece or to the collective art-making force of the company. Dancers' Viewpointe encourages its audience to consider all these aspects of the medium, separately and in tandem, in a series of performances that are (to unfurl another common word) simply mesmerizing.Check out the slideshow below featuring photos from last week's dress rehearsal, and then come see the real thing this weekend at the New College Theatre. Tickets for the Friday and Saturday evening performances are available at the Box Office. [http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649]