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dropshift dance looks to the feminine for ‘FloatBrilliance’

By | Press

By on June 14, 2016

FloatBrilliance, premiering this weekend at Links Hall, is the third installment of what Artistic Director Andrea Cerniglia calls the Imposter Series, a multi-year project consuming at least half of her company’s history. In dropshift dance’s six seasons, Cerniglia’s aesthetic has gently, steadily pulled away from her roots in Zephyr Dance, but her commitment to multiple mediums with equal attention to the sonic, visual, and kinesthetic environments has never wavered.

Each of the works in the Imposter Series is a stand-alone entity, with little resemblance to the others. The common thread is all about the audience. When given free reign, what are the choices we make about interacting with performance? Are we willing to get close to it? Are we willing to let it happen around us and be observed by others with our bodies and behaviors becoming a part of work?

As with her other works, audience seating is unconventional, but FloatBrilliance imposes a few more guidelines. Guides will gently encourage audience members to sit very close to the performers at the start, though it feels less and less possible to remain close as the piece evolves. Compared to the others in the Imposter Series, FloatBrilliance is “softer and rounder,” said Cerniglia, but it’s also decidedly dancier with sweeping passes of physicality that will likely push audience members to the perimeters of the space.

Andrea Cerniglia and Weichiung Chen-Martinez in FloatBrilliance | Photo: Rosa Gaia
Andrea Cerniglia and Weichiung Chen-Martinez in FloatBrilliance | Photo: Rosa Gaia

References to nature abound, in the mossy knoll on which the four women in the piece both perch at attention and lounge, and complementary projection designs by Rosa Gaia and Jeremiah Jones. But this and the other elements — Cerniglia’s soft and round movement vocabulary, the underlying hum of composers Elliot Cless and Luke Gullickson’s score layered with conventional instrumentation and subtle electronica, and Collin Bunting’s flowing, blush colored costumes — allude more to the feminine mystique (or to Mother Nature herself?) than toward any sort of direct comment on trees and grass and butterflies. The eyes are often closed; when they open the women are coy, demure, at times skeptical. What arises from the dance is the sense that these four women (Cerniglia performs with Colleen Welch, Weichiung Chen-Martinez and Jill Moshman) support and console one another as sisters, but (like sisters) also question and challenge each other. Kind of like Cerniglia’s audience experiments, with agency comes accountability.

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FloatBrilliance premieres June 17-19 at Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave. All performances are at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20-25, available at the door or online. Audience format is fluid, however persons with disabilities or impaired mobility will be accommodated.

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance dance critic based in Chicago, and a regular contributor to SeeChicagoDance.com, Windy City Times, and Chicago Magazine. Ms. Warnecke is the sole content creator of artintercepts.org, and has written for nationally reputed dance blogs such as Dance Advantage and 4Dancers. Ms. Warnecke has worked in the dance community as a dancer and choreographer, sound designer, production stage manager, and curator. An experienced educator and administrator, Ms. Warnecke holds degrees in dance (BA) and kinesiology (MS), and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. Tweet her @artintercepts.

‘FloatBrilliance’ a thing of beauty but not a joy forever

By | Press

Laura Molzahn

By Laura Molzahn

You almost feel you’ve stumbled into a bridal situation, with yards of tulle draped here and there, flowers littering the perimeter of the space, many glittery surfaces, and four nymph/bridesmaids in long peach gowns, seated or lying in graceful repose, waiting.

Beauty marks Dropshift Dance’s new “FloatBrilliance,” which closes Sunday at Links Hall, beauty in the design and in the dancing. Gentle, patient, searching, it starts in psychology, in the wholeness of an individual or of a relationship, but veers into philosophy, embodying the principles of action and reaction, control and its loss, affection and antagonism. Consistently divided into duets, it suggests symbiotic relationships — which can be beneficial or destructive, and sometimes both at once.

Live and recorded ambient music by Elliot Cless and Luke Gullickson creates a sonic wash of various intensities and allusions: Though strings and piano can sometimes be heard, so can electronic simulations of what seems like a jet taking off and the sounds of water — rain, a wave crashing. Projections of a sunrise or sunset, of lightning flickering in darkness, of a watery surface dotted with boats appear now and again on a billowy, sparkly curtain.

At least, I think that’s what these images were. The audience was seated on cushions arrayed around three sides of the space, and I was at the far end of one side, very near but almost behind the settee/bed/altar that was the set’s focal point.

As directed by Andrea Cerniglia, the fluid, integrated movement of “FloatBrilliance” intentionally blurs the line between volition and passivity. For many minutes early on, Jill Moshman and Colleen Welch sit side by side facing into a corner, their drooping heads relaxed together; from a perspective far behind them, a footlight burning into their faces created a glow. A slight motion, perceptibly initiated by neither, eventually turns into rocking, a pendulum.

Meanwhile the focus is on Cerniglia and Weichiung Chen-Martinez, who form a riveting relationship with each other and, rarely, with the audience. Intimacy, trust, care — each closes her eyes at points to be manipulated by the other — come across most forcefully, but there’s also something impersonal, even antagonistic, about their interactions. As Cerniglia repeats the motion of crooking an elbow and flicking a hand, Chen-Martinez watches like a cat about to pounce, aiming to interfere with or control the movement.

About midway through “FloatBrilliance,” Moshman and Welch begin their more kinetic but less intense duet; it’s as if all the movement dissipated feeling. At this point my attention began to flag, except during an almost comical musical-chairs sequence on the settee for all four dancers, with gestures traveling from one to another person: gazing into a palm as if into a mirror, fists brought to the mouth in mock horror.

“FloatBrilliance” is exceptionally well made, knitting together all the symbiotic nuances of relationship, whether between two people or between parts of the self. But it begins to feel airless, even claustrophobic. Like a 19th century, well-made play, it is a closed system. Actions become predictable; the long, slow, inevitable finale, which brings the work full circle, is a slog. It doesn’t help that the audience is asked to sit on the floor for nearly an hour and a half. That would detract from anyone’s experience, anytime.

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Laura Molzahn is a freelance critic.

Dropshift Dance / “FloatBrilliance” – 3 STARS

When: 7 p.m. Sunday

Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Where: Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave.

Freelance contributor Laura Molzahn has written about dance for 25 years at publications including the Chicago Tribune, Dance Magazine and the Chicago Reader. A native Minnesotan, she attended Carleton College, UIC and Northwestern University, where she earned a doctorate in English. She tells herself she likes the challenge of verbalizing nonverbal art forms.

Sensory Immersion – A Preview of FloatBrilliance

By | Press

RECOMMENDED

Third in the critically lauded Imposter series from Andrea Cerniglia and her group dropshift dance, “FloatBrilliance” bows at Links Hall this weekend. Much effort goes into producing the immersive performance environment from the video installations of Rosa Gaia and Jeremiah Jones, whose work Jones describes as “experimental documentary.” Simultaneously sculpture and environment, the projections unify the various other set elements, including a “flowing river of fabric that hangs overhead, leading to a shimmering screen. Islandesque, rocky surfaces on the ground function as seating and stage, screen and structure.” Music composed by Luke Gullickson and Elliot Cless will set the pace and frame out sequences within the performance using “folk-inspired acoustic instrumentals, lo-fi electronica and environmental sounds,” with performers outfitted for the environment by celebrated local designer Collin Bunting. And, as with past installments in the series, the audience integration remains central to its overall design, with dancers often moving in close proximity to attendees, at times even interacting directly, guiding them throughout the environment. “I would describe it as immersive and textural rather than ‘interactive,’” explains Cerniglia, commenting on the expected limits of the audience involvement in the production, in which she will dance alongside Weichiung (Coco) Chen-Martinez, Jill Moshman and Colleen Welch. This one’s a must-see. (Michael Workman)

FloatBrilliance at Links Hall, 3111 North Western, (773)281-0824. Friday-Sunday, June 17-19 at 7pm. $20-$25. Tickets at linkshall.ticketfly.com/event/1134369-dropshift-dance-chicago.

Photo Credit: Weighing (Coco) Chen-Martinez and Andrea Cerniglia: Rose Gaia

dropshift dance’s dream team (review)

By | Press

June 1, 2015 – Art Intercepts

In her fifth season as an Artistic Director, Andrea Cerniglia continues to “go big or go home.” As a 21st Century Diaghilev of sorts, Cerniglia has called on some of the best collaborators in the business for the creation of Imposter/Contained, continuing a series that began last year with Imposter/Malleable.

As with the first, this Imposter is an immersive installation full of eye candy. The audience is given instructions to wander and move about the space as we wish, choosing our vantage point within the three-dimensional dance space. We must make decisions about where to stand and, once we decide, what to look at, because things are happening all around us. The choices we make have a direct influence on what we experience and how we interact with the work, or don’t. As the evening progresses, the impact of our decisions as viewers became quite clear.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Coming into a dropshift show is a bit like entering a museum. We wander and pause, wander and pause, sip our drinks and then wander some more. Three women are strewn about the room (Cerniglia, Colleen Welch, and Julie Brannen) surrounded by an intricate set and video installation by Rosa Gaia Saunders and Jeremiah Jones. On the risers of Links Hall’s white space are two projection surfaces on easels, and the fourth performer, Weichiung Chen, with heavy black makeup and a gorgeous, ruffled, low-backed gown. Per usual, Cerniglia has created a quartet of women, however Chen never leaves her post. She is a dance within a dance that, even by the end, does not interact with anything or anyone else. When I took the time to gaze at her and away from the trio, it was all loveliness and intrigue, but did little to enhance the work as a whole.

In the main performance area, Saunders and Jones’ seemingly unstable wooden jungle gym is embedded with triangular projection screens. Christopher Fisher-Lochhead’s piano score is played from within a translucent triangular room built into the space. The environment is a balance of natural and unnatural materials, warms and cools, beautifully complimented by Richard Norwood’s lighting and Collin Bunting’s exquisite costumes – a patchwork of alternating stiff and soft fabrics in gray and mauve tones. It is a perfect blend of mediums, however Cerniglia’s desire to create cross-disciplinary, multi-media work doesn’t distract from the fact that dance is her home. Unlike performance artists who incorporate movement into their work, Cerniglia’s work clearly rises out of dance. Her dancers are crisp, clean, and technically sound (Welch and Brannen have never looked stronger).

Cerniglia is really good at waiting. Waiting to start, waiting to finish the idea, finding the right spot to change, move, arc, etc. This Imposter is less playful than the last; the score and the dance are screaming for a major chord so we can feel some sort of resolution. The performance simply fades out – the performers didn’t even emerge for a bow. It’s a resolution we never get, and maybe that’s the point. Though the work has moments of levity to break up the ominous tone, one wonders if these moments are provided by us, the audience, and vary from night to night. I mentioned that our choices mattered, and on this particular evening (Friday), the dancers found themselves sandwiched between audience members for a particularly cheeky section of gestures. Coincidentally, Cerniglia was squeezed in between her former Zephyr Dance coworkers Michelle Kranicke and Anne Kasdorf, who both gazed up at her with coquettish smiles. They are perhaps the only two audience members who might have been willing to live in that uncomfortable space for so long; others ran for the hills when they saw the dancers approaching. This gestural section dissolved into an intentional, contagious case of the giggles as the dance descended toward its end. I have no idea what Imposter/Contained is about. It feels neither deceitful nor contained. It is beautiful and frustrating. I loved it, but I can’t identify why.

Oh, art.

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By Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance dance critic based in Chicago, and a regular contributor to SeeChicagoDance.com, Windy City Times, and Chicago Magazine. Ms. Warnecke is the sole content creator of artintercepts.org, and has written for nationally reputed dance blogs such as Dance Advantage and 4Dancers. Ms. Warnecke has worked in the dance community as a dancer and choreographer, sound designer, production stage manager, and curator. An experienced educator and administrator, Ms. Warnecke holds degrees in dance (BA) and kinesiology (MS), and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. Tweet her @artintercepts.

 

Dancers and audience are free to roam in ingenious offering

By | Press

Imagine you’re wandering around an art gallery—and all the art is moving too: changing places around the room, shifting composition within works. At times you feel you’re the one hanging on the wall, and the art is looking at you.

That’s something like the experience of viewing Dropshift Dance’s ingenious, immersive “Imposter/Contained” (third in a series), running at Links Hall through Sunday in celebration of Dropshift’s fifth anniversary.

Multiple containers define the stunning set, by Jeremiah Jones and Rosa Gaia Saunders. A translucent box encloses the barely visible pianist-composer, Christopher Fisher-Lochhead. The audience risers, stripped of their chairs, entrap a performer (Weichiung Chen) who wanders her keep like the mad Lady Macbeth. Huge canvases contain video “paintings,” while a towering wooden frame near one wall encloses whatever is visible through it. If it fell forward onto the floor, it would define the “stage.”

But director Andrea Cerniglia’s point seems to be that artistic containers of all kinds are artificial, limiting.

Unlike the trapped Lady Macbeth, the other three dancers (Cerniglia, Julie Brannen and Colleen Welch) are free to roam the space. So are we: Audiences can roam at will, or sit. That means we become part of the performance—and often these accidental additions are among the work’s most beautiful moments: the man sharing the spotlight with Lady Macbeth, watching her; the tall woman peering up into the forest canopy of splintered wooden sculptures. Fisher-Lochhead’s repetitive yet varied music—it can sound like a march, meandering cool jazz, a tragic symphony—provides most of the structure, introducing new sections and moods. The movement alternates between poised stillness and frenetic momentum, between effort and collapse, as the dancers come increasingly into relationship with one another, and with us.

One after the other, the three dancers slammed into the wall I leaned against, inches away. Or danced, arrayed front to back at varying distances from my face: A foot away, four feet away, 10 feet away, they made for a dizzying perspective, as if I’d been dropped into a photograph.

Such moments thrill, but the constant energy required to try and get our theatrical bearings can be wearing, while all the existential wandering contributes to a lack of direction and sense of purpose. Though power structures, the ostensible subject, can sometimes be glimpsed in the dancing or sensed in the topsy-turvy audience-performer relationship, ultimately no particular point of view emerges.

More thematic structure—and at the same time more emotional lability, like that of the cooing, chortling baby in the audience—might have benefited the challenging balance of limits and freedom in “Contained.”

DANCE REVIEW: Dropshift’s ‘Imposter/Contained’
3 STARS
Laura Molzahn is a freelance critic.
ctc-arts@tribpub.com
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Links Hall, 3111 N. Western Ave.
Running time: 90 minutes
Tickets: $20-$35 at 773-281-0824 or linkshall.ticketfly.com

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dropshift dance aims to immerse and interact, and wins (review)

By | Press

Upon first glance, one might consider Andrea Cerniglia’s four woman troupe dropshift dance (intentionally uncapitalized) to be a spin off of Zephyr Dance. Cerniglia is a long time dancer/collaborator with Zephyr, and the influences of Michelle Kranicke (and formerly Emily Stein too) are undeniable. Yet there is something very different about this four woman company that distinguishes it from Zephyr (another four woman company). Cerniglia has smartly created her company by capitalizing on her lineage with Zephyr and simultaneously branching out on her own. In the end, she stands apart from her history, and her latest work Imposter/Malleable, ironically stands apart from anything else I’ve seen her create.

Showing at Links Hall this weekend, Imposter/Malleable is set up like an art installation; the audience is instructed to sit and view from wherever we like, to come and go as we please. Playing with audience orientation isn’t new, and personally I rarely engage in these sorts of invitations (particularly because I’m toting a big yellow notebook). In this case, I wish I had. My only complaint with Imposter/Malleable at a length of 90 minutes, is the sheer amount of stamina it takes to get through it. Had I done as the program suggested… gotten up, stretched my legs, refilled my wine glass, and returned refreshed, I might not have been so anxious for an ending. Cerniglia, on the other hand, shows dedicated patience, and had I made another choice this could have proven exceedingly satisfying.

Cerniglia has a clear hold on a genre that is weird. And beautiful. And weird beautiful. And beautifully weird. Her sometimes playful / sometimes alluring assortment of phrases, gestures, and scenes are paid compliment to by Richard Norwood’s exquisite lighting and intricate costuming, props and set from Amanda Lee Franck. Never has such an immersive environment been created within Links Hall’s four white walls, at least in my experience, and that’s in large part to Norwood’s sensibility (and, perhaps his personal inventory of additional lighting equipment).

The dancers (Cerniglia with Julie Brannen, Weichung Chen, and Colleen Welch) are wildly committed to this strange world – un-phased by shifting audience members. They twist and contort their faces into exaggerated expressions and fearlessly stare us straight in the eyes.  Also supporting the effort is musician Chris Fisher-Lochhead, who occasionally creeps from his audio table to assume the roll of a viola-playing minstrel. He is sometimes alone, sometimes with dancers, sometimes accompanied by recorded sound, and always a compelling addition to the highly feminine mystique of the work. Throughout Imposter/Malleable,  the audience members are concurrently witnesses and participants on a journey that, I think, we aren’t really meant to understand. The program instructed me to design my own experience, and in this case, I chose to sit with total immersion and lack of understanding; what an interesting and uncomfortable place to be.

dropshift dance presents Imposter/Malleable continues through Sunday at 7pm at Links Hall (3111 N. Western). Tickets are $18/20 available at the door and online.

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By Lauren Warnecke

Lauren Warnecke is a freelance dance critic based in Chicago, and a regular contributor to SeeChicagoDance.com, Windy City Times, and Chicago Magazine. Ms. Warnecke is the sole content creator of artintercepts.org, and has written for nationally reputed dance blogs such as Dance Advantage and 4Dancers. Ms. Warnecke has worked in the dance community as a dancer and choreographer, sound designer, production stage manager, and curator. An experienced educator and administrator, Ms. Warnecke holds degrees in dance (BA) and kinesiology (MS), and is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. Tweet her @artintercepts.

Last Minute Plans: I Am Logan Square Gallery Presents New Exhibit, Memento

By | Press

This evening, I am Logan Square presents a new exhibit entitled Memento. Visual artist Ashley Sullivan and dance film artist Nadia Oussenko have collaborated with dropshift dance to create an exhibit that, in the words of artistic director Andrea Cerniglia, “explores themes of memory distortion, perception, and recall, translated through the mediums of movement, short film vignettes, and graphic screen print design as well as painting on paper and canvas.”

Dropshift dance has received critical acclaim from TimeOut Chicago, who described the modern dance group as “enchanting and graceful.” The Chicago Reader called their work “serene and provocative.” Filmmaker Nadia Oussenko is also a trained choreographer, which gives her a unique perspective into the world of dance.”My artistry comes together in dance for the camera. I am fascinated with movement within the camera frame, and the relationship that the moving subject has with a moving camera. Using the medium of film, I provide a visceral experience for the viewers, direct the viewers’ attention and draw them into closer proximity and greater intimacy with the dancing body,” says Oussenko of her work. Artist Ashley Sullivan works in a variety of mediums, from prints to painting to jewelry. You can find her work on Etsy and at Sacred Art.

The combination of dance, film, and visual art promises to be a unique and mesmerizing evening. The opening runs 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. tonight at I Am Logan Square Gallery (2644 North Milwaukee Ave.). The work will include performances consisting of solo and duet vignettes. There will also be pop-up performances throughout the month on Dec. 8 from 2-4 p.m. and on Dec. 12, 14, 17, and 19 from 5-7 p.m.

Contact the author of this article or email tips@chicagoist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

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By Julia Weeman

Rogue Ballerina – dropshift dance explores memory through movement

By | Press

What is a memento? How do you define that? How does your perception change when you get further away from the source? These are some of the questions “artistic architect” and dancer Andrea Cerniglia asks in Catch and Release presented this weekend at The Hairpin Arts Center. In this new program, her company, dropshift dance, explores memory perception and recall by creating an interactive performance experience with dancers, roving musicians and textile artwork. The goal is to create a balance between the three disciplines, while letting the audience decide how they view the show.

This non-traditional platform altering how and what the audience sees by letting them control the watch time and viewpoint is something she’s been experimenting with recently during her ninth season with Zephyr Dance. Although she’s been with the local company since 2004, after stints with RTG Dance and Chicago Moving Company, Cerniglia, 32, started presenting her own work in 2010. “I have a point of view and to develop that, I have to produce my own work”, she said. “It was a gradual process, but it was the next logical step.” As director, or architect, she wears many hats, but is learning and growing in the process. An example is the much-dreaded deed of grant writing. “It’s tedious, but a necessary evil,” said Cerniglia. “You do so many edits that it forces you to be more articulate. I’ve learned a lot about myself and became a better writer.”

Along with Cerniglia in Catch and Release will be three dancers, musicians Weldon Anderson (double bass) and Bob Kessler (harmonica, acoustic and electronic loopers), moving through textiles/sets by artist Ashley Sullivan with costumes (and set consultation) by Heiki Dakter. “The way that the performance space is set up will allow the viewer to literally be caught in one moment, while having the opportunity to release themselves and go view something else,” she says. “At times, the audience will have to choose how long to stay with a certain part of the performance as overlap may suggest that they leave one part of the space to go see another.”

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Preview: Dropshift Dance, Catch and Release

By | Press

Andrea Cerniglia, artistic director of three-year-old Dropshift Dance, says that in her new evening-length Catch and Release she was curious “how to design the piece and arrange the dancers so that the audience would explore the center of the space, and go near the set pieces.” That led her to an explode/contract structure over the show’s two hours. “Sprawling” sections covering the entire room — the brisk ones threatening collisions with audience members, who’re invited to roam at will — alternate with more contained stretches that split up the four dancers and place them at one or another of the room’s three “resting place” installations.

Running Friday through Sunday, November 9-11, at the Hairpin Arts Center, Cerniglia’s piece will be set in a second-floor room shaped like a slice of pie, with windows covering the two long sides. “Light from the outside will bleed in,” she says. “The room’s like a blank canvas that takes on whatever’s installed there.” She asked lighting designer Richard Norwood to “keep in mind the set pieces and textiles” of Ashley Sullivan’s screen-print or hand-painted textiles, but the dancing “can happen outside the lit area.”

“It was important to me how the design would connect one space to the next,” says Cerniglia. “And how the set pieces would connect to the rest of the negative space. I wanted something balanced, with a through line of shapes or elements.” The gentle, subtle Catch and Release had its beginning in ideas of memento and family history. “Earlier I’d worked on investigating identity, which naturally involves where you come from,” says Cerniglia. “And the older you get, the more you accumulate and acquire. But a memento doesn’t have to be tangible, it’s a wide-open subject — that’s why I was drawn to it. Each person in the process had a very different idea of what a memento was.”

The motif of whispering emerges and re-emerges. “That just came out of us communicating with each other, the transfer of information, story, memento,” says Cerniglia. “But I worked hard to develop it into something a little kooky and offbeat.”

Musicians Weldon Anderson and Bob Kessler will wander the space, playing live, alternating with a sound design that includes a manipulated version of Johnny Cash’s “The Ways of a Woman in Love.” Heidi Dakter’s costumes are reminiscent of Japanese kimonos — unintentional, but Cerniglia likes their “formality.” Sullivan’s designs include unrecognizable words. The dancers are Cerniglia, her fellow Zephyr performer Colleen Welch, and two talented newcomers to Chicago, Chelsea Harkelroad and Weichiung “Coco” Chen.

Cerniglia’s project recalls Michelle Kranicke’s three-hour Allowances and Occurrences for Zephyr Dance at Defibrillator earlier this fall. How does Cerniglia compare her piece with Kranicke’s?

“There is some overlap,” Cerniglia says. “They’re related by the desire to give the audience variable experiences. The textile installations are the main difference — there aren’t a lot of heavy pieces, the set is lightweight. I wanted to get people close to these pieces, blow them apart in the space. I wanted to create a situation with multiple things happening at the same time. With Zephyr, the experience was sequential. Here, I wanted there to be something audible that the audience couldn’t see, so that they might leave one thing to watch another.”

“I wanted to provide viewers the ability to make choices. Basically, it’s Choose Your Own Adventure — in dance!”
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Andrea Cerniglia

Andrea Cerniglia is on her way

By | Press

It was just a year ago that Zephyr Dance member Andrea Cerniglia debuted her own company, Dropshift Dance. But this young choreographer already shows a rare confidence and self-possession—qualities she seems to have passed along to her performers. Dropshift’s “Push: New and Revisited Works” features a 45-minute premiere, Becoming, that opens with Cerniglia dancing an authoritative solo in a big, open performance area. But the focus soon shifts to a raised stage behind her, where four other dancers lie face down. One by one they begin a long, methodical approach to the audience, using a single repeated, hypnotic motion: still on their bellies, they flip up their hands, hoist their bottoms, then arch their necks and chests up—and scoot forward. Ever so slightly. They look like dolphins slo-mo surfing through waves. Eventually the four attain the apron of the stage, slide down from it, join Cerniglia, and begin to explore portraiture in movement. At once serene and provocative, Becomingmarks Cerniglia as a talent. A duet from last year, Mine, Yours, opens the program.
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