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FreeMove Dance's “…it’s time…” a Triumph

by Bonnie Rosenstock
October 5, 2019
14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 780-0800
FreeMove Dance reprised “…it’s time…” at the 14th Street Y (September 19-22), where it first premiered to acclaim in 2018. Choreographed and directed by Jenn Freeman, the artistic director of the New York-based company, with the collaboration of the dancers, it’s a brilliantly executed meditation on the complexities of our relationship to time and a metaphor for life in all its glory and vicissitudes.

For the program on September 20, five fearless dancers, Maddison Burg, Mia DeWeese, Matt Luck, Christopher Ralph and Madeline Wright, each had a shining star turn and also worked seamlessly within the choreographic ensemble. Also present on the time-life continuum was Price McGuffey, who was ensconced on high, accompanying or driving the action with his percussive drum riffs, scored by Dani Markham of the Grammy award-winning band Childish Gambino. But the inescapable scene-stealer above the stage was the red digital timer, minute and second hand flashing down our lives, which the dancers kept referring to or anticipating for their dance cues and the audience could not avoid looking at during the countdown to zero.

The 75-minute piece is a triumphant series of surprising gems, with the dancers transitioning through changing moods, energies and styles. There were sections of joyful exuberance, crazy laughter, shaking, fast staccato movements, screaming with hands on head, slow and serene parts, the silence of sitting in the lotus position and solos, collaborations and rivalries.

The dancers utilized red metal folding chairs as a tool for the multitudinous movement sequences. They were seated or standing on the chairs, popping up and down on them, changing seats by physically removing another dancer out of his/her spot or playing a game of musical chairs in which the spotlighted dancer gleefully cheated.

In one sequence they put on long black robes on top of their mustard yellow outfits, moved the chairs downstage, stood on them and sang the catchy “Time After Time” to the delight of the audience, which seemed to be filled with their friends, relatives and fans. In one memorable section, the tall male dancer threw himself on the floor repeatedly, and then the others dragged him up and like a rag doll pushed and pulled him around into various positions. Another featured a female dancer raised up into different, daring positions.

They shouted out about time: “Stop! It is time now. Is it now? Should I go now? Now?” They acknowledged the passage of time, as they moved their head, eyes or body in sharp, quick motions, looking at each other, the clock or the audience. They took turns counting until 100. Then at 0:00:00, a large red rope descended from above. The thick knots allowed four of the dancers to climb up one after the other. There they remained, suspended in time, the cycle completed.
FreeMove Dance in “…it’s time…”

FreeMove Dance in “…it’s time…”

Photo © & courtesy of Mike Esperanza

FreeMove Dance in “…it’s time…”

FreeMove Dance in “…it’s time…”

Photo © & courtesy of Maria Baranova

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