The Dance Connection

Bergen Community College, Paramus, New Jersey,
May 13, 2006

A Review

The Dance Collection is a group of professional dancers who reside in Bergen County and cooperatively support one another in producing a yearly gala. The programs are as wide reaching as is the art of dance.

This seasonís program began with a trio, Temporal Circles, which did indeed fulfill that premise with a well-composed dance, exploring circles that ranged from plain walking to full-body, off-balance circles. The work was performed to exciting live music composed by Joe Pereira.

Juan Carlos Varela Gonzales danced Cuando Llora Mi Guitarra (When my Guitar Cries), composed by Elissa Lockwood-Machlin, an exciting work full of fast tensions from fingers to feet, flamenco style. I was sorry that the opening light did not enable us to see the motion of the fingers, so signal in the choreography, and I would have liked a little more arch to the spine. Juan is a fast and compelling mover.

Holding Pattern, choreographed and performed by Liliana Amador and Alison Oakes, starts with two pallid solos but sparks our interest when the duet dancing begins. The duet was well conceived and choreographed with unique motion and interesting development, but I do take exception to a centrist manner of performance where the person of the performer seems to take precedence over the art statement.

Lynn Needle presented her Equanimity, a quiet piece showing Lynnís fine control, which used a shadow as a visual partner.

Act One ended with Canít Get Started, choreographed by Carol Parker and Peter Pucci, danced by Susan Thomasson, Rick Kitts, and two chairs. Part mine, part motion, a character dance, humorous and driving, was well portrayed throughout. One could say it really doesnít matter what you do; it is how you perform.

Act Two started with piano and pianist (John Kaefer) on stage. Portrait: Girl with Striped Stockings, choreographed and danced by Jamie Sporn, starts simply with brief poses reminiscent of Schieleís paintings. Jamie builds these into a satisfying motion statement. Connecting Flights is a sheer ďrompĒ with Irving Burton, Claire Porter, Susan Thomasson, one dozen suitcases, and miscellaneous clothing and the accoutrement of the traveler. With minimal motion, minimal words, minimal mime, minimal music, they make a hilarious statement about the current of our airports.

What an act to follow! Frances Rosario-Puleo tried with her An Eye Single. She pinned up her hair, sang (which she does beautifully), and I think she bathed.

Nai-Ni-Chen presented an excerpt from her Isle of Dunes, a short solo followed by a short group dance. I have no feel for what the solo tried to convey, but I did see the native American influence in the group. The piece was well danced by good dancers, but so short. When you have a good thing, you really want more.

— Ruth Grauert, May 14, 2006