Since you’re reading this blog you must be human, or at least feel human 73 percent of the time…
The audience of Like Humans Do, a production by IMPACT Dance, heard something similar to this float out of the speakers before the dancers flocked to the stage.
IMPACT Dance: Like Humans Do took place Feb. 20-23 and Feb. 27-March 1 at the Community Creative Center in the Historic Carnegie Building. The performance really showed off the new renovations of the building. Like Humans Do consisted of three parts, each located in a different area of the first floor of the building.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Community Creative Center (CCC), it’s located on 200 Matthews St. right next to the library. The inside of the building was recently renovated, while the outside remains it’s old, beautiful, historic self. The CCC is now managed by the Lincoln Center and is often used for community members to showcase their artwork. It’s also a very intimate space for performances, like this one.
There’s a lot to understand with modern dance, and I’ll admit there were parts of the performance I didn’t fully comprehend. Even though I didn’t understand the message behind every single dance, it was still enjoyable to watch and learn that modern dance is so much more than just movement. It’s full of important facial expressions, props, and costumes that set the scene. Kudos to choreographer Judy Bejarano, for making each scene flawlessly shift to the next. I did not feel disturbed at all by having to get up and move my things to a new location during each set change. In fact, I think it provided the audience a fresh take on the performance and avoided dull moments. This is also, of course, thanks to the talented dancers of IMPACT Dance, Jeremy Colvard, Susie Garifi, Jennifer Girtell, Molly Gray, Mallory Hochwender, Jenna Spengler and Sharon K. Wilson.
Part one, labeled “Life,” started with a recording of a woman speaking, saying you must be human since you’re attending Like Humans Do. The music for this part was interesting. It started with what sounded like a machine running, adding gibberish singing (zaa zaa zaaa zaaa) accompanied by a bicycle bell. During all this, the dancers were going through a daily routine. They had a spoon and acted out what looked like a routine eye exam by holding it over one eye, pointing left and right, and then switching to the other eye. The dancers transitioned into using this spoon to mime eating a bowl of food. Later on, different dancers came out with a door on wheels. The lighting in this scene seemed to represent the rising and setting of the sun – a day had passed.
Something very unique about IMPACT Dance is their use of multimedia. The use of videos and pictures displayed on the wall behind the dancers added strength and understanding to each scene. The multimedia aspect certainly helped me to comprehend the performance while adding visual interest.
For part two, “Puncture,” the audience moved to a different seating area where the stage had four columns surrounding it. The scene started with a dancer behind a sheet. The light behind her cast a shadow of her body on the sheet, which I loved. The sheet was quickly pulled down to show a deep emotion on the dancer’s face. I felt the dancers’ talent was portrayed much more in this space. The emotion was intense as the dancers made eye contact with the audience, and the use of the columns in their movements made the performance more visually interesting. The movements in this set appeared more advanced and impressive. Each movement was sharp and meaningful. Part two was definitely my favorite part of the night.
Moving on to part three, “Dust and Sky,” in yet another new seating location, starts with a bird chirping. All the dancers quickly move to the floor while photos of the dancers are projected on the wall behind them. The scene starts by each dancer showing off their talent in unison, and then they each slowly break out into their own routine.
Overall it was an interesting night. I was fascinated by how constructively each idea was portrayed. There’s a true art to creating a dance production, and it was well done. Look for more IMPACT Dance in the future and make sure to visit their Facebook page! They will be performing Every Voice Matters at the ArtLab on May 3 from 6-9pm during the free First Friday Gallery Walk.