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Dance at Dicapo: The Nilas Martins Dance Company and Dario Vaccaro Dance Project
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Dance at Dicapo: The Nilas Martins Dance Company and Dario Vaccaro Dance Project

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Dance at Dicapo
At
Dicapo Opera Theatre
www.dicapo.com
Michael Capasso, General Director
Diane Martindale, Artistic Director
184 East 76th Street
New York, NY

The Nilas Martins Dance Company
And
Dario Vaccaro Dance Project

Featuring Music by Billy Joel, Tobias Picker, Ted Rosenthal

Choreographer: Nilas Martins
Guest Choreographer: John Selya
Choreographer: Dario Vaccaro
Set Design: John Farrell
Lighting Design: Susan Roth
Production: Michael Capasso
Shuman Associates, Press
shumanpr@cs.com
and
Robert Lombardo & Associates, Press
www.rlombardo.com


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 26, 2008


(See a Review of Nilas Martins Dance Company 2007)

Nocturne: Music: Five Songs of Billy Joel, Choreography: John Selya and Nilas Martins (Premiere), Brian Gelfand on piano and vocals, Philip Dizack on trumpet, Janelle Reichman on sax/clarinet, Yasushi Nakamura on bass, Mark Dodge on drums, Performed by The Nilas Martins Dance Company: Christina Dooling, Benjamine Bowman, Alexander Brady, Ask la Cour, Eric Otto.

Martins new work, Nocturne, is reminiscent of Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out, even using Billy Joel’s songs as dance score: “Nocturne”, “Miami 2017”, “Leave a Tender Moment Alone”, “Get to Begin Again”, and “Everybody Loves You Now”. Brian Gelfand, on piano and vocals, kept the mood light and breezy, and the dance had Broadway lyricism, swing, and some acrobatics, too. Martins’ dancers are part-time, freelancing from other companies, and I’d like to see this work develop as the Company develops. The sensual lifts, outstretched arms, sliding motifs, and creative extensions all show Martins’ growing talent as choreographer and dance designer. Particularly captivating was Ask la Cour’s focused and stylized performance. Mr. la Cour is a soloist with NYC Ballet, where Nilas Martins is a principal dancer. Christina Dooling, in purple, captured the essence of this swinging, muscular piece.


Seguiti (To continue on): Music: Suite for Cello and Piano by Tobias Picker, Choreography: Dario Vaccaro (World Premiere), Caroline Stinson on cello, Simon Mulligan on piano, Performed by The Dario Vaccaro Dance Project: Dario Vaccaro, Lex Dones, Christine Freeman, Shanti Guirao, Heidi L. Freeman, Roseanne Ma & Ramon Thielen.

Dario Vaccaro’s Seguiti used a chair and suitcases as props for the concept of time and relationships, or that’s what it seemed to me. Notes say the dance is about “moments when change becomes a necessity”. Feverish hand motion, directional changes, and dancers twitching and walking behind (and tossing themselves onto) each other combined humor, theatrics, athleticism, and surreal imagery. Caroline Stinson and Simon Mulligan provided live cello and piano accompaniment. I found this ballet unsettling, with overly kinetic motion: suitcases were carried or put down, dancers used their hands to seem to talk to themselves, one female dancer covered a male dancer’s eyes, Mr. Vaccaro hung upside down in a chair in space, women rolled on top of men, and so on…very staccato and nervous choreography. It was unclear what Mr. Vaccaro was trying to communicate.


SwingFlight: Music: SwingFlight for Jazz Quintet by Ted Rosenthal, Choreography: Nilas Martins (World Premiere), Ted Rosenthal on piano, Philip Dizack on trumpet, Janelle Reichman on sax/clarinet, Yasushi Nakamura on bass, Mark Dodge on drums, Performed by The Nilas Martins Dance Company: Heather Gorres, Drew Jacoby, Monique Meunier, Anastasiya Zlatina, Ask la Cour, William Lin-Yee, Nilas Martins, Rubinald Pronk.

SwingFlight was my favorite of the three, with Ted Rosenthal’s exemplary Jazz Quintet. Dancers were constantly in motion, through five movements: “Rosenthal for All!” (Hard Swing), “One love is All!” (Rhumba Misterio), “I want ‘em All!” (Bluesy Stride), “I get ‘em All!” (Ballade Romantique-Valse Jazz), and “SwingFlight for All!” (Fast Swing). Mr. Martins premiered this work tonight, and surely he has talent, as dancers were in pure colors, rambunctiously partnering and combining in ensemble through Latin-infused rhumba, swing, and blues.

Of special note were performances by Monique Meunier, Ask la Cour, Nilas Martins, and the duo of Rubinald Pronk and Drew Jacoby. This duo shares one professional website, and they obviously have developed chemistry and strong partnering technique, as they exemplified in the second movement. I found the fourth movement most engaging, with Mr. Martins joining Ms. Meunier and Mr. Pronk in a very sensual and slinky dance. Mr. Martins should take pride in this professionally nuanced work.



Dario Vaccaro, Laura Piazzola (Astor Piazzolla's Widow), Nilas Martins
Courtesy of Dave Levingston




Dario Vaccaro Dance Project
in "Seguiti (To continue on)"
Courtesy of Dave Levingston




Dario Vaccaro Dance Project
in "Seguiti (To continue on)"
Courtesy of Dave Levingston




Dario Vaccaro Dance Project
in "Seguiti (To continue on)"
Courtesy of Dave Levingston




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net