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TAKE Dance Company Takes Off

by Taylor Gordon
May 17, 2008
The Miller Theatre
Columbia University
2960 Broadway (at 116th Street)
MC 1801

New York, NY 10027

TAKE Dance Company has taken off with its spring season at the Miller Theatre. The contemporary company, founded in 2004 by former Paul Taylor dancer Takehiro Ueyama, presents a range of athletic and moving works with power, including a solo for him choreographed by Asun Noales and the return of his 2006 piece "One."

Take (pronounced TA-KAY) has a fresh style that breathes life into the seemingly stagnant air of dance nowadays. His choreography is vicious, radiant, and swooping all at the same time. The dancers take his movement and melt their personalities into it, looking so natural that it appears they may well be improvising organically.

These qualities are ever-present in the 2007 work "Looking for Water," which opens the program. A dynamic piece for 7 dancers, it features rhythmic quick sections interspersed with more sensual sections like the crawling solo for Kate Hirstein. She makes minute movements with her head and arms that have some hidden meaning to her as she crosses the stage close to the floor. Deep intention behind every breath drives her.

The lighting by Jason Jeunette in collaboration with visual artist Mark Wiener is an important aspect. It constantly changes, shifting the mood with the choreographic alterations. While it certainly is artful, the frequency of colors going back and forth becomes distracting after a while.

The New York premiere of "Love Stories" offers a generous visual relaxation. The duet for Nana Tsuda and Kile Hotchkiss allows their freedom of passion to surface. Through 3 diverse sections they share some special relationship as if they have a secret the audience doesn't know. We have a good time following them to figure it out.

A common characteristic of Take's choreography is finishing the dancing in silence, continuing movement without music or acknowledgement that the accompaniment has ended. This happens throughout "Love Stories" and gives an air of questioning. It's a lovely contrast to the forceful dancing that goes with the collage of music.

The world premiere of "LINKED" might become the signature work of the company. The boundless energy of each dancer bounces through them as they thrash, jump, woosh, and glide around the stage. It's impossible to sit still while watching. Their joy of dancing is infectious, and their camaraderie only enhances that.

In an open rehearsal last month they polished timing and synchronization, and in performance their work paid of immensely. It's no surprise that they jump and crash to the floor at the end, releasing any last drop of excitement from the perpetual score. Their fire may never die.
Takehiro Ueyama in 'Huella'

Takehiro Ueyama in "Huella"

Photo © & courtesy of Phil Echo

Love Stories

Love Stories

Photo © & courtesy of Phil Echo



Photo © & courtesy of Phil Echo

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