Saturday, July 2, 2011

Live Performance: Jane Comfort and Company

For those who attend live dance performances and are looking for something a bit different, Jane Comfort and Company comes fully equipped with a performance that provokes thought about social ideologies. The 2010 piece simply entitled "Beauty" examines the notion of American female beauty from the perspective of Barbie dolls. Dancers maintain plastic-esque smiles all night while prancing around stage with movements reminiscent of the pop cultural icon. Through dance, narration, skits, and even a contest, Jane Comfort and Company presents a sound social commentary on the obsession of physical appearances in American women that will make any and question what beauty really is all while having a good laugh.

For more on Jane Comfort and Company, visit their website here.

Day 3: Ian Eastwood - "So Beautiful" by Musiq Soulchild

Chicago native Ian Eastwood is somewhat of a prodigy. It doesn't take more than one glance at him to accurately determine that he is under 21 years of age. Regardless, Eastwood has spent more years both dancing and choreographing than most other YouTube performers in his age bracket. With a solid fan base of 33,103 subscribers on his YouTube page and a well earned total of 9,286,034 upload views, Eastwood is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Within the past few years, the Young Lions representative has showcased his skills in solo numbers and workshops as well as collaborative efforts with big names like Shaun Evaristo, Brian Puspos, Jun Quemado, Jillian Meyers, and even Tucker Barkley.

Eastwood's praise does not come arbitrarily. With a workshop tour or two already under his belt, iconic pieces such as his rendition to Musiq Soulchild's "So Beautiful" establishes him as someone that dancers want to learn from. Using his lanky build to his advantage, Eastwood creates lines and shapes that normally wouldn't appear in typical Hip-Hop pieces. Something about this dancer's physicality is wonderfully unique. In a genre where hard hits and aggressive movement are viewed as the norm, it is a welcomed surprise to have something much more cool, angular, and precise. However, what is even more amazing is that although Eastwood's choreography has such a distinct watermark due to his own body, his work can be beautifully translated. Video co-star, Elysandra Quinones, does an absolutely amazing job of breathing life into such intricate choreography all while passionately dancing alongside Eastwood. The chemistry displayed between the two dancers in combination with the lyrics really help to give the piece its oh-so lovely feel.

With REACT 2010 already on his resume, it's hard to say what he won't be able to accomplish within the years to come. Anyone overlooking Eastwood is providing themselves with a very strong disservice.

For more on this young dance sensation, Ian Eastwood, follow him on both YouTube and Twitter.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Live Performance: Keigwin+Company

Larry Keigwin and his company of young and entertainingly energetic dancers are taking theatres by storm this year. Starting off 2011 at the Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference (APAP), the New York City based Keigwin+Company have already performed at both The Joyce Theater in New York, NY and Jacob's Pillow in Becket, MA. Future performances are slated for New York City's free annual Summerstage at Central Park, Houston Metropolitan Dance Center down in Texas, and even more.

For more clips of Keigwin+Company, visit Larry Keigwin's very own YouTube page here.

Day 2: Prepix - "360 Degrees Dance" - "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan

Complex dance choreography is always something worth noting, but something as intricate and highly aware of itself such as the Koren based dance group Prepix's "360 Degrees Dance" is far beyond that. Posted on YouTube just a little over a year ago, the 135,782 views that this performance has earned is nowhere near adequate of the praise that it deserves. The choreography here can easily be described as genius or even innovative. Each step taken and every movement made speaks volumes of unparalleled performance.

What is most notable about this performance can be found right in the title. Imaginative lead choreographer, Haw, properly demonstrates his command for a vividly astounding dance vocabulary complete with fundamentals and Prepix's own unique style. Taking the art of dance away from its live performance presentation of a one point perspective, Haw uses both cinematography and the open space area to his advantage to stage a full 360 degree performance. A dance built around a concept as such really helps to push the boundaries of the art form. Crew members WaSsup, iLL, Soo, Joony, Haw, and Yun all approach center stage with buttery-smooth technique respectively to present Prepix's style of dancing all while complementing Jazmine Sullivan's sultry voice.

Prepix's combination of musicality, solos, liquid movements, and blended transitions are often imitated, but it's safe to say that no one performs quite as well as they do when it comes to standing out like this.

You can follow Haw on YouTube here.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 1: Shaun Evaristo - "Glory" by Ryan Leslie

Amazing. Sharp. Precise. Energetic. Powerful. Invigorating.

These are all words that come to mind after viewing such a complex and awesomely executed performance. Since hitting the pages of YouTube on January 1st 2010, Shaun Evaristo and his choreography company, Movement Lifestyle, have taken both the dance world and the internet by storm. With just over 50 uploads, Evaristo and his team have introduced and in some cases re-introduced a very unique style of dance. With fresh and vivid concepts, a unique music selection, and crisp movements, it is safe to say that Evaristo has played an active role in molding today's dance community.

Nearly two years later after heavily hitting the internet dance scene and a lifetime of dedication to the art as both a craft and lifestyle, Evaristo still goes hard and hits even harder than ever before. With Jeka Jane at his side as Assistant Choreographer for this brief yet highly intense two minute piece, viewers were most likely left with their mouths gaping wide in awe. Evaristo and Jane's team is composed of dancers Joe Ling, Yusei Kamiya, D-blast, Muhd Zaihar, and Ronnie Chen, all of which provide stellar performances. Between the intricate builds and elaborate transitions, every count seems to be a well placed step all leading up to the climactic announcement of the grand opening of the Movement Lifestyle Studio.

Follow both Shaun Evaristo and Movement Lifestyle on YouTube for the best and latest in dance videos.