Inlet Dance Theatre, Bil Wade, Kapila Palihawadana, CHAKRA, CENTER OF THE EARTH (TE PITO O TE HENUA)
Wind, created by whipping and interweaving with heavy ropes, gave a clear vision of the ever present "voice" in every experience on the island. It incorporated the history, sense of ritual and the breath of life of the Rapa Nui people.
Underwater World, a metaphor for uniqueness and diversity, unearthed visions of turtles and other underwater sea life. The ocean is always there, always present in the life of these island people.
REPRISE was a repeated capsule of the entire program. It was a reinforcement that illustrated that the work was image based choreography, rather than the traditional dance step based choreography.
I had the privilege of observing a rehearsal of the Hanna program at the Idea Center on PlayhouseSquare. The marvel of Inlet is its total dedication to collaborative works, in an engaging example of a functional family. Both Bill Wade, who is a master at working interactively with his dancers, much as he did when he taught at the Cleveland School for the Arts, and Kapila Palihawadana, sought out input and integrated the views and ideas of the dancers. This technique is not usual in the dance world. Most commonly, the choreographer develops the movements and implants his ideas on the dancers. Most often this is done through knowledge of traditional dance vocabulary and historically developed movements.
Since there is no vocabulary for the types of dances being developed for these programs, not only were movements being created, but a vocabulary was developed. According to the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis of communication, if something has no name it does not exist in any form other than a quick illusion. To create permanency, and the ability to repeat and perfect the ideas, they needed to be named. This was evident in the idea development as the interactive dances were created.
It was fascinating to watch how almost fifteen minutes was spent developing the exact hand placements for an instantaneous segment. Not once did the choreographer tell the dancers what to do. The dancers suggested, practiced, worked it out, as Wade blended his views with the "family." It was a lesson in true cooperative creation and the building of trust. What a lesson for others to learn of how to create without letting ego and power be the rule of operation. It was a true lesson on the building of community, an important aspect of not only the motto of the people of Easter Island, but of Wade, himself.
Capsule judgement: The Inlet Dance Theatre program was an experience that anyone interested in community, healthy family relationships, ethnology and sociology, let alone dance, should experience. When the program is repeated in other local venues, GO! This is an absolutely MUST SEE experience!
Next up: CHAKRA at Cleveland Public Theatre's Danceworks '13, April 11-13, 2013.
Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years. |
For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.
He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.