Antonietta Vicario’s and Alexander Kalkines’ honors dance thesis concert, an exploration into performance art, will be performed at the Dorothy Marvin Betts Theatre March 10 and 11 at 8p.m.
Vicario and Kalkines are senior dance students who created two exquisite masterpieces after several months of work, expressing their entire being – mind, body and soul – in the form of performance art.
These two Presidential Art Scholars chose performance art because of the unique personal relationships GW dance students build with one another through modern dance. The program contains five pieces, including Twin Falls, a concept by Kalkines, and Expressions of the Inexpressible, choreographed by Vicario.
Twin Falls is a duet between Vicario and Kalkines. The concept is by Kalkines with the choreography being a collaborative process. This is beautifully shown as Kalkines and Vicario share this spouting, joint image of flows as Kalkines lifts Vicario. But Vicario shows she is an equal partner, and it works well demonstrating the desired effect of the male and female shedding the stereotypes of femininity and masculinity.
An added bonus to the fabulous collaboration is that GW senior Angela Aki, who just finished her first album These Words, composed a piece specifically for Twin Falls. The pianist will be performing it live for both shows.
Kalkines also will perform his pieces Where I Fear to Tread: A Personal Myth, Movement on Canvas and The Dinner Party, an autobiographical piece.
Expressions of the Inexpressible is Vicario’s showpiece, which is inspired by her study abroad experience in Amsterdam last spring. Watching the circular motions of the dancers complimenting and supporting each other strikes a chord. Anyone, especially young people exploring their personal relationships, will sympathize with the dancer’s struggle. It is so effectively portrayed that your heart goes out to her. It is as if the emotions of the joys and pains of a complex personal relationship are personified by this lone dancer. Her body language and dance movements are fantastically vivid and poignant.
After the hour-and-a-half performance, expect to come out of the theater with a different spin on life. Performance art is supposed to be thought-provoking, and these two talented dancers give themselves to the audience in order to achieve that. The results are spectacular.
Vicario’s piece, using imagery symbolic of urban life, explores the dehumanization of urban living, specifically the pace and time orientation of technical life. Original video footage of the city environment was taken by Vicario and is supplemented by Philip Glass’ Baraka and Ron Fricke’s Koyaanisqatsi.
Vicario and Kalkines get their purpose and meaning from dance and want to share their passion and insight gained as a result of deep personal exploration for this artistic thesis. These themes are strong by themselves, but the added special effects and video on the monitors makes the already stirring piece even better.
The dancers wear Wet Seal and Delia outfits and also sport headlights on their heads, making for a neat special effect. Smashing Pumpkins, DJ Krush and Moby provide the beat and several monitors are strategically placed among colored beams of light in the fog.
Overall, the work of the seniors proves to be of a professional quality. The pieces force the audience members to do more than merely enjoy the spectacular show. It forces them to think.
The performance will take place Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Dorothy Marvin Betts Theatre. Tickets cost $3.