Beyond the Bang Group
West End Theater
September 17, 2017
First up, an entirely delightful amuse-bouche minus title or program reference with Jeffrey Kazin, co-producer of The Bang Group, clapping the rhythms and Chelsea Ainsworth in pointe shoes tapping to the beat. As Kazin clapped an elaborate pattern Ainsworth echoed it; the couple then moved from the feet up the body incorporating other takes on percussion as she drummed on his torso and he slapped the ground. Juilliard grad Ainsworth was back in Two is You and deserves a shout-out for her expressive approach that maximizes every step.
Goin’ Your Way, set to Pick Me Up by Lapsley and Moon River recorded by Frank Sinatra, brought Louise Benkelman and Tommy Siebold hitchhiking their way to romance while folding into tentative embraces, often with matching steps.
The story behind At Home in the Clouds, written and read by Alison Weaver, deals with a woman pregnant with twins. One twin has a malfunctioning gene and is therefore slated for a “selective reduction.”Jesse Keller Jason and Alison Manning danced the twins. In addition to exploring abortion the work deals with life, death, love and choices, showing shifting perspectives.
Some of the performance’s choreography is physically challenging as in Accumulated and Revised with Jason Collins and Lindsay Harwell dressed in identical black shirts and shorts holding complex poses before turning them into another shape.
The work was curated by David Parker, whose company, David Parker and The Bang Group has been the first and only resident-dance company of the West End Theatre since January 2003. Parker is committed to bringing together artists of varied backgrounds and levels of experience in order to break down aesthetic barriers and achieve mutual inspiration. The artists are united by their commitment to movement and their understanding that vigorous experimentation can take many forms, providing fresh, entertaining work.