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Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Performance Reviews
The Duke Theatre
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Dance Anonymous - In The Borders of Ignorance

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 30, 2003
The Duke Theatre
229 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

About the Author:

Dance Anonymous - In The Borders of Ignorance

Choreography by Harry Mavromichalis
Costumes and Makeup by Yiorgos Bellapaisiotis
Music: Fear, Compiled by Zenios Tselepis
A Time of Change, by William Catanzaro
Lighting Design by Clifton Taylor
Set Design by Panikos Tembriotis, Panikos Michael,
and Harry Mavromichalis

Publicity: Audrey Ross

Presented at The Duke on 42nd Street
229 West 42nd St, NY, NY
Part of New 42nd Street Studios

Review by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 30, 2003

Harry Mavromichalis formed Dance Anonymous in 2000 and has toured in NYC as well as in Cyprus. The first piece tonight, Fear - The Rebirth of Courage, is being prepared for the 2004 Olympic Games. Mr. Mavromichalis has interwoven Greek mythological characters with the present for a fairy tale effect. The second piece, A Time of Change, premiered in Cyprus last year. This work, relating to trans-sexuals and their standing in society, is performed to the music of Argentinean composer William Catanzaro. Mr. Mavromichalis studied at Steps and the Ailey School, and he explores issues of sexuality and psychology. (Publicity Notes).

Fear: Performed by Mara Reiner, as Queen Fear; Bafana Solomon Matea, Sean Scantlebury, Ayelen Liberona, Jonette Ford, Nicole Coea, as Dancers; and Tanja Konjar Hall and Elyssa Dole as Inside the Dress.

In pitch darkness, this piece unfolds, with a creative and cultural motif, an extremely tall figure (16 feet - at least one figure stands atop others) within a long, white dress. The woman at the top arranges her sleeves, much like the Chinese dancers (See Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chinese Dance) to extend well beyond her arms, and then more and more figures do the same, with these lengths of sleeves utilized as part of the choreography. In an ambiance of fascinating sound, shapes, and surreal, oversized costumes or scant swim trunks, these figures seem to represent mental demons, moving to New Age music. This intertwining of characters is literal as well as figurative, as pattern of material serve as metaphorical umbilical chords and dream-like connections. Mr. Mavromichalis' work will be extended for the 2004 Olympics, and the essence of Greek mythology will be well received. I would recommend assisting the audience with either written material or stronger visual clues, as to the actual mythological connections.

A Time of Change: Performed by Mara Reiner, Bafana Solomon Matea, Sean Scantlebury, Ayelen Liberona, Jonette Ford, Nicole Coea, Tanja Konjar Hall, and Elyssa Dole.

To the airy sounds of seagulls and ocean, three large tanks, with bubbles and smoke, are wheeled onstage. Each tank contains one human form in brief, white underwear-styled costumes, designed for male or female. Kudos to the lighting and set designers, as these tanks are so surreal, in the dimness of the stage, with human forms appearing to be caught in an embryonic or aquatic state of existence. This work, presumed to concern changes in sexual orientation and the effect of alienation, is eery and memorable.

Tanja Conjar Hall, as the Nurturer, has extremely textured and colorful costumes that contrast sharply with the near naked outfits of other dancers. The percussive and bubbling sound effects enhance a New Age overtone, and the black and white body suits that follow the scant, white costumes, seem to transport the audience to another realm of imagination. Fear and angst are apparent in the nakedness and vulnerability of these dancers. This is an edgy work, with athletic leaps and falls and, finally, one enchanting song in Greek, which I had anticipated, considering the Greek heritage of this Company.

When the bubbly and smoky sets re-appear, with the near-naked dancers reaching out in space, and Tanja re-appearing, this time in an even more fantasy-inspired costume, there seems to be a nice closure to this very visual work. This piece is certainly a dreamlike creation and has potential for numerous, future presentations. Harry Mavromichalis has merged some daring ideas, daring designs, and daring choreography to develop In the Borders of Ignorance. I look forward to learning about the evolution of these interesting works and the general public reaction. These are courageous themes.

Bafana Solomon Matea in "The Urge of Being"
Photo by Christos Panayides

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