BWW Reviews: Energetic, Intriguing, Surprising, SEAN CURRAN COMPANY Opens at The Joyce
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by Marina Kennedy
Seán Curran Company opened its 15th Anniversary Season at The Joyce Theater on Tuesday and the audience was completely enthralled by the program. The show consists of two premiere pieces, Fireweather and Left Exit.
Fireweather is accompanied by Charles Wuorinen's composition for two pianos, "The Mission of Virgil," a ballet in seven parts. With inspiration from Dante's Inferno, the theme is realized in both the music and in Curran's intense, intricate series of dances for the ten member ensemble. Flawless solos and a perfect collective effort of the troupe are the hallmark of the piece. Among the seven sections, there are three where the dancers enter Limbo, creatively combine their forms as Monsters of the Prime, and Journey through the Center captivating the audience. Fireweather is filled with Curran's startling images that are signature to his works and it takes contemporary movement to new levels of versatility and style.
Also premiering at The Joyce is Left Exit (Faith Doubt, and Reason) to a score by Jerome Begin. It is a piece that explores the external need for spirituality, faith, and religion. Having a strict Catholic upbringing, Curran feels strongly connected to its theme. The piece was originally commissioned by University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Left Exit opens with nine dancers representing different religious backgrounds, gracefully moving in perfect unison, and continues with a sequence of dances rich in variety. When Curran himself takes the stage to the recorded text of "Examined Life" we are reminded of the vivacity that he possesses as a dancer. Left Exit succeeds in using dance to closely examine our social conscience with a religious conversation and a discussion of the social model of disability. The costuming by Christina Bullard perfectly captures the spirit of the piece.
Curran collaborated with his dancers on the choreography for both of the premiere pieces, proving above and beyond his deep investment to the choreographic art. Curran and his troupe bring a feeling of intensity to their material while succeeding in entertaining their audience with graceful athleticism and complex patterning.
Seán Curran began his dance training with traditional Irish step dancing as a young boy in Boston, Massachusetts. He went on to make his mark on the dance world as a leading dancer with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Curran was an original member of the off-Broadway hit, Stomp. He is a graduate and guest faculty member of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. With an impressive performance career and with a myriad of successful projects, Curran is known for his wit, intelligence, ingenuity and uncanny physical humor and a totally original style. Happiest when making new work or performing, Seán Curran hopes to continue being an ambassador for the art of dance by building and educating the dance audiences of tomorrow.
The Seán Curran Dance Company will perform at The Joyce Theater on Thursday January 31st at 8:00 pm with a dance chat after the performance, on Saturday, February 2nd at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. The Joyce is located at 175 8th Avenue in New York City. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 691-9740, visiting the box office or at www.Joyce.org.
Photo Credit: David Gonsier