Dancers Got Rhythm in BodyTraffic @ The Wallis

In the world of contemporary, innovative dance, Bodytraffic is the company bringing down the house at theatres throughout the nation. Just completing its run at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Bodytraffic launched the world premiere of Snap by choreographer Michaela Taylor, with works by Fernando Hernando Magadan, Matthew Neenan, and L.A. based choreographer Duo Wewolf. Michaela Taylor, inspired by the ‘godfather of soul,’ James Brown, brought her ensemble together onstage, a brilliant company of the most talented, athletic, whimsical dancers. They put their life stories to dance movements, and their expressions and range of motion and emotion reach the audience at the highest level. The versatility of sequences is proof that these dancers can handle a wide variety of choreography, and whatever scene or storyline comes their way. The first number, elusive minds, performed by Tina Finkelman-Berkett and Guzmán Rosado, is a surreal portrayal of a mental patient, Santiago, haunted by the delusion that a relative has been replaced by an imposter. These dancers give the audience a tingle and chill, exploring the premise that life is indeed stranger than fiction. The world premiere of Snap follows. Choreographed by Michaela Taylor, this piece comes to show us that the ethnically diverse population of Los Angeles is calling out for everyone to recognize uniqueness amidst diversity. Resolve, by Wewolf, is performed by Joseph Davis and Guzmán Rosado, with music by DJ Tennis. It was inspired by b-boy influencer Rubberlegz and dancemaker James Gregg, and brings the heartbeat of electronic music to life onstage. My personal favorite was the final number, A Million Voices, choreography by Matthew Neenan, performed by Tina Berkett, Joseph Davis, Haley Heckethorn, Myles Lavallee, Guzmán Rosado, and Jamal White, to the jazzy, upbeat music of Peggy Lee; Robert Sour; Una Mae Carlisle; Johnny Mercer; Harold Arlen; C. Farrow; Irving Berlin; Mike Stoller & Jerry Lieber; Adrian Zing & Benny Goodman; and Arthur Hamilton. The dancers swing and interact with each other as if they are completely in sync with the jazz music playing. They convey utter joy and in the moment delight as the audience is gifted with both an audio and visual extravaganza. It inspires the audience to perhaps return home and take up ballroom, jazz, or swing dance as a passionate (and healthy!) hobby. Familiar Hollywood and Broadway showtunes resonate, and bring a balance of the familiar merging with the contemporary, a new renaissance in modern dance.

http://www.thewallis.org

About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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