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Vertigo Dance Company’s 'Reshimo' finds lingering beauty in the ordinary

by Steve Sucato
October 13, 2015
Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center - Mercyhurst University
501 E 38th Street
Erie, PA 16546
(814) 824-3000
Steve Sucato is a former dancer turned arts writer/critic. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Dance Critics Association and Associate Editor of ExploreDance.com.
Titled after the Kabbalistic idea of the impression of light that remains after light is gone, Vertigo Dance Company’s Reshimo (2014) echoed that idea in carefully crafted choreography by artistic director Noa Wertheim’s that left an impression of creative genius after it was performed.

It began with a darkened stage on which eight dancers from the Jerusalem-based contemporary dance company faced away from the audience swaying back and forth to Israeli composer Ran Bagno’s atmospheric soundscape of clicks, noises and cello music.

Wertheim’s choreography for the 50-minute Reshimo developed in concert with Vertigo’s dancers was a succession of pedestrian movements and gestures. In it the dancers ran, hopped, skipped, nodded their heads, and seated on their butts, locomoted about the stage.

Movements such as the dancers in bent knees positions rapidly rocking forward and back like prize fighters in a workout or aggressively rubbing their hands together high over their heads occurred and reoccurred throughout the work.

Like choreographer Mark Morris’ ability to take what look to be simple movement phrases and weave them into moments of brilliance, Wertheim’s beautifully-spaced choreography for Reshimo was clever and satisfying. She juxtaposed lively unison group dancing with near slow-motion solos and duets that created beauty from the mundane.

After the dancers performed a series of hand, arm and face gestures seated on lighted boxes surrounding the stage, dancer Nitzan Moshe performed an intense solo that ended with her, back-to-the-audience, arched over and clasping her throat, staring upside down at the audience. Reshimo was sprinkled throughout with such delectable moments including a duet that saw dancer Sian Olles tossed around like a rag doll, contorting, flopping and falling into and out of her partner’s arms.

Never taking itself too seriously, Reshimo ebbed and flowed with Bagno’s moody and spirited music. In one section dancer Tamar Barlev adopted the strut of a runway model, prancing up and down the stage with exaggerated hip notions and framing her breasts with the flattened palms of her hands.

Wertheim’s program notes for the Reshimo, said the work “explores the passages between abstract and chaotic endless motion and defined movement…a magnetic realm hosting the search for emotions, knowledge and creation.” While elements of those ideas were present in it, the abstract nature of it left it open to multiple interpretations. What was perfectly clear though was Vertigo’s world-class dancers’ adroit performance of it, and like company’s name, Reshimo’s dizzying ability to engage, intrigue and delight at every turn.
Vertigo Dance Company dancers in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Vertigo Dance Company dancers in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Photo © & courtesy of Maayan Hotam


Vertigo Dance Company dancer in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Vertigo Dance Company dancer in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Photo © & courtesy of Maayan Hotam


Vertigo's Sian Olles in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Vertigo's Sian Olles in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Photo © & courtesy of Maayan Hotam


Vertigo Dance Company dancers in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Vertigo Dance Company dancers in Noa Wertheim’s 'Reshimo.'

Photo © & courtesy of Maayan Hotam

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