Dani’s live tweet review: “In the Company of Dancers”

Our own @DaniV__, a contributing writer for @GreenRoomReview, dancer and Goldring Arts Journalism student studying dance criticism, live tweets Kitchen Theatre Company’s piece, “In the Company of Dancers.”

Follow me as I take a trip down to Ithaca and live-tweet the Kitchen Theatre Company’s performance of In the Company of Dancers. Stay tuned!
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
This is the Kitchen Theatre Company’s 21st anniversary season.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The theatre troupe was established in 1991, and bounced between two venues in Ithaca for it’s first three years.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Co-founders Matt Taubor and Tim O’Brien sought to create a place where theatre artists could share and work on their skills.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
KTC has grown from a modest team of 3 to now boasting an artistic staff of 7 and over 60 actors and crew members.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
This years lineup includes nine plays that range from comedic to fantastical.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Artistic director Rachel Lampert helped choreograph the piece, and has acted as KTC’s director, choreographer, and playwright for 15 years.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Ithaca College modern dance professor Lindsay Gilmour also collaborated on the show- making this her 2nd time working with Lampert and KTC.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Following Circle Mirror Transformation, In the Company of Dancers is this season’s only movement theater piece.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The story centers around a former professional dancer as she riffled through mementos of the past.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Led by actor Norma Fire, the company of 11 dancers bring the memories to life through their movement on stage.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The performance will also be accompanied by CCO violinist Linda Case, first cellist Rosie Elliot, and guest pianist Andrea Merrill.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The sounds of Brahms, Bach and more will set the tone for the night, and fill the recently renovated Kitchen Theatre.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
After 16 years performing in the Clinton House, KTC moved into the West End neighborhood space to celebrate it’s 20th year.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
13 minutes until the doors theatre doors open and the modern, red and black- themed lobby is quickly filling up.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
To go with the performance, a showcase of modern dance’s most famous company of dancers. http://t.co/qmfIUhe4
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Tickets to tonight’s show range from $25 for students to $35 for adults. http://t.co/tAlVaXul
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Coffee, cookies, and more are available at the refreshment bar. A few more minutes to get your snacks before the show starts!
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The three-quarter thrust stage allows the audience to have an intimate experience with the performers.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
In the Company of Dancers is an 80 minute piece with no intermission.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
A multigenerational group of dancers make up the cast. A 7th grader and a dancer who is coming out of a 30-year hiatus will share the stage.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
With a 12 minute delay, the show is finally about to begin. See you on the other side!
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Almost two hours after entering the small performance space, a lot of dancing has happened. Let’s start with the first scene…
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
It opened with the the artistic director introducing the show and saying: Musicians, dancers, are you ready? A very unconventional start.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
A swirl of music began and dancers entered from the side in a flurry of movement as they raced past Norma Fire and circled her with fluidity
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The narrative and plot was explained after they exited the stage. Fire spoke the first words, introducing herself and what was to follow.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
With a box brimming with folders and objects, Fire had the task of leafing through these items for an archival project to share her life
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October 1, 2011
As a dancer
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October 1, 2011
She immediately broke the fourth wall and began asking the audience to ask her the questions needed for the project.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
After a snarky response to the first questions asking when she first started dancing and how many companies she’s joined, the story unfolded
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
This pattern continued as Fire would pull out a trinket and the memory would be brought to life as the dancers swept onto the stage.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
A key component to each dance was not the memory itself, but the connection the movement had with the live accompaniment.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
The first dancers appeared as she began reminiscing of her time at “Isadorable”dance studio. Their flowing costumes and sweeping motions
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October 1, 2011
Akin to Isadora Duncan herself.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
If the violin was sweet and crooning, the sound was emulated through the dancers’ slow extension and winding torsos.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
This could prove challenging if the pace was quick and sharp, requiring dancers to be just as angular, and most importantly, in sync.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
With the wide range in ages, the technique of the dancers was also unbalanced. Some ankles less sturdy and extensions more developed.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
But despite this, the joy and emotion that radiated from each overpowered these details.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
From the unison breath and connected gazes, the comfort they had was palpable from the stands.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
This connection extended beyond the company of dancers, as the musicians would verbally interact or watch the dancers during the breaks.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Making each dance seem less like a performance and more like what they were trying to portray: a real, vivid memory.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
One of the key dances that illustrated this was the quirky trio choreographed to Shostakovich.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Their jerky and pedestrian motions paired with the tones of the piano were unexpected but matched the sound perfectly.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Another poignant moment was when the solo cellist and solo dancer performed a duet to Bach Suite Solo Cello No.1 in G Major.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
With the instrument and dancer center stage, he began mimicking the cellist’s movements with his fingers and arms.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
As he began moving around her, they continued to build off each other’s energy and left the audience enthusiastically applauding at it’s end
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
With the final performance, Fire had her last memory of a “jam session” the dancers would have with one another.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
It ended much as it began. Dancers moved on and off the stage, grasping and connecting with one another before they finally left the stage.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
With a final swoop of her arm, Fire joined them and the meaning of the show was understood.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Life is full of comings and goings, but the interaction with her fellow dancers and the art itself will forever be a constant.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Reception after opening night open to all that attended. http://t.co/rYj5viZ8
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Free red and white wine! http://t.co/J83C2xfu
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
A break from traditional theatre groups, including a movement piece in it’s season was an interesting tactic.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Now back in the Cuse, the trip to Ithaca’s KTC was a success. The intimate theater and committed cast made for a powerful experience.
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
But seems to reflect its organization’s mission: http://t.co/nMUXqWJb
DaniV__
October 1, 2011
Looking forward to seeing what the “Kitchen” cooks up next!
DaniV__
October 1, 2011

2 thoughts on “Dani’s live tweet review: “In the Company of Dancers”

  1. Lovely: You packed a lot in each sentence. I appreciated the alternating of fact and perception and especially loved the rhythm of the unfolding.
    As part of a team working on new forms of critical response for a conference in L.A. in November, I wonder: What was the time period of sending the tweets? Did people follow the whole story? How long did it take you to compose?
    Best wishes, Ariel Swartley

    • Hi Ariel,

      Thanks for the great comment; I’m glad you enjoyed it. This was actually my first time “live tweeting” an event, so it took a little getting used to. I started tweeting about a half hour or so before the performance, which was about 22 actual posts, and then continued after the show for around 45 minutes.

      Because it took place in a theater, I was unable to simultaneously watch and tweet during the piece- leaving a gap of 90 minutes without any content. I’m honestly unsure of how well this ended up working, but I feel it probably wasn’t as easy for people to follow because of the large span of time in-between tweets.

      I hope this was helpful, and plan on experimenting more with Twitter and live theatre in the future. So, stay tuned!

      Best,
      Dani Villalobos

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