The Next Stage Project presents a piece choreographed by the artistic directors of the company, Jana Hicks and Marijke Eliasberg. This piece shines as brightly as the sun when it comes out after it rains, a concept that is touched on in this excerpt called Weather Report. Some dancers begin sitting on the stage, back facing the audience as they hold their knees. A carrier of a watering can comes to the person sitting still and waters that person. Gradually, this person comes to life and begins to dance with so much joy it is as if it's the first time that they have ever danced or seen life. Every first movement is like a stretch from being cooped up in that balled up position for too long. When the leg extends to the side, the leg reaches out and stretches to the max before moving on to the next position. It is as if the audience is witnessing photosynthesis happening in each dancer's body. The dancer is a plant that needs water, but most importantly, needs sunlight to live. Most of the music is a soundtrack of rain and storms in the beginning, but when there is a pause in the music, I see the dancers reacting to a sun and thriving as they reach out with all of their limbs and dance with joy. There is a phrase in which one dancer positions their arms in a very wide first position, and another dancer swerves down and then up inside the circle that the the dancer has created as if this circle is full of life and provides relief and safety to the living organism. Relief and happiness is written all over the dancers' movements when they arrive inside this circle as if they are experiencing a loving hug. Jana Hicks and Marijke Eliasberg prove to be queens of organic movement and unique concepts portrayed by strong, expressive dancers. The dancers in this piece are Paige Constable, Marijke Eliasberg, Jana Hicks, Emme Hoette,Bobbie Marchand, Barbara Russo and Akiko Tomokawa. Music is by Soundscape-AST and the costumes are by TNSP.
DANZ Critix Corner
Official Dance Review by Adrienne Jean Fisher
Performance: :pushing progress presents The Artist Showcase
Choreographers: Mark Stuart Eckstein, Slam, Chris Hale, Jana Hicks, Marijke Eliasberg, Jason Parsons, Calen J. Kurka, Jacki Ford, Ginger Cox, MS VEE, Luam and Brice Mousset
Venue: Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
Performance Date: Sunday, March 29, 2009, 7:00pm
Jana's Choreography has been described by Show Business Weekly as having an overall lyrical quality. "The head, neck, arms, torso and legs move individually, in opposite directions and at different times allowing energy to flow through the body at an even pace. The small intricacies of the movement add a choreographic dimension that other choreographers lack. Hicks' movement is an organic blend of modern and cutting edge jazz. This piece explores the lushness of lyrical movement in contrast to the starkness of reality. It seeks to expose the space beyond one's kine sphere in a satisfying combination of full body movement and small obscure interactions between the dancers."