Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com iPad Edition

New!
Read ExploreDance.com on your iPad!
Only $0.99 per issue! No ads!
www.exploredance.com/subscribe.htm
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Emily McNeely
Dance New York
Music and Dance Reviews
Performance Programs
Performance Reviews
Butoh
multiple locations
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com

Vangeline Theater's Wake Up and Smell the Coffee an Inspiring Environmental Narrative

by Emily McNeely
July 15, 2015
Triskelion Arts
106 Calyer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-3473
www.triskelionarts.org
It was a rainy summer evening June 27, and, having arrived an hour early for Vangeline Theater's performance of Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, I got a great feel for Triskelion's new neighborhood. A memory of Triskelion's old neighborhood – North Williamsburg and its hipster attitude, trendy drinks after a performance – came into mind on my way to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This neighborhood is quieter, smaller – instead of a bar, I found a small local bookshop, and half an hour before the show began, I was sheltered from the rain reading Dostoyevsky.

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was as descriptive, detailed, and intricate as the classic Russian literature I'd been reading down the block. The company's dancers were costumed in long white dresses with stark white faces and romantic, floating white umbrellas. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee meditated on an environmentalist theme; hundreds of used coffee cups surrounded the dancers, a wave of trash between them and the audience.

New York City audiences are generally less familiar with Butoh than their European counterparts. (A week after the performance, I found myself at a dance studio in Amsterdam, where Butoh was simply one of many styles offered in a workshop setting. There, it was commonplace. In New York, it is as it was in Japan in 1959 – unique, and awe-inspiring.)

The jaw-dropping awe that Butoh inspires was one that artistic director/choreographer Vangeline mastered; every movement was so carefully crafted, so meticulously taught. The clarity with which she and her dancers executed each movement built a strong sense of the scene, and inspired the audience to think like a choreographer – to calculate the breath of each movement, to watch every detail of the dancer's execution.

Vangeline's choreography traced the intricate musical score – the dancers reacted to sounds of raindrops, not unlike the ones outside the theatre, to terrifying and monstrous growls, to silence. The result was a stunning integration of the Butoh style of dance into a modern context: the apocalyptic sounds combined with the overwhelming sight of the dancers' own disposable coffee cups accumulated over three months' time.

Brilliantly, Vangeline Theater defied a stereotype of contemporary dance: rather than reaching for abstract meaning, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee clearly presents its audience with an inspiring environmental narrative through movement alone.
Vageline Theater in 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.'

Vageline Theater in "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee."

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Blase


Vageline Theater in 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.'

Vageline Theater in "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee."

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Blase


Vageline Theater in 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.'

Vageline Theater in "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee."

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Blase


Vageline Theater in 'Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.'

Vageline Theater in "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee."

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Blase

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health