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Metamorphosis presents ‘Connections’

Friday, July 4 2008

click on pic to zoom in
One of the folk pieces from the company's 2007 dance season....
One of the folk pieces from the company's 2007 dance season....

THE METAMORPHOSIS Dance Company is staging its 13th annual dance season, Connections, at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, this weekend. The season opened last night and there will be additional shows tonight and tomorrow at 8.30 pm, with a 6.30 pm matinee on Sunday.

Tickets costing $100 are available at the Caribbean School of Dance, Dere Street, Port-of-Spain, and at Queen’s Hall Box Office.

Nancy Herrera, the artistic director of the company said some of this season’s new pieces are the result of work done over the past year with Sat Balkaransingh and the Nirtyanjali Theatre. There will be pieces with the two classical traditions of kathak and ballet, and the show opens with an invocation that combines the two.

“The finale comes from another interesting combination of kathak and tap dancing, so there is a call and response in the rhythms because the kathak with gunghroos (ankle bells) and intricate footwork, married with the rhythms of the tap, make for a blend of Indian classical and Afro American and Trinidadian dance,” she said.

The accompaniment comes from a live ensemble, including pan, which will feature different types of drumming.

Another featured item is “Bow-wood” choreographed by Adele Bynoe and Herrera, with live music from the Lydian Steel. The genesis of this piece was Pat Bishop’s very successful experiment of folk rhythms layered over classical baroque music for the steel orchestra, after attending a Baroque Festival in Miami, Florida. Bishop reinterpreted Baroque in Trinidadian style. and asked Metamorphosis to represent this musical experiment in dance.

Metamorphosis is one of few companies worldwide that has been allowed to use Martha Graham’s “Steps in the Street”, an anti-war piece choreographed by Graham premiered on December 20, 1936, at the Guild Theatre, New York.

Peter London, a Trinidadian who learned classical ballet at Caribbean School, and is now Associate Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company, negotiated permission for Metamorphosis to use the piece and brought Diane Grey, a past principal of the Graham Company to mount the work in a July workshop session in 2006. “Steps in the Street” premiered at Metamorphosis 2007 season Tribute in celebration of the Caribbean School’s 50th anniversary.

The crime situation is being addressed through a hip hop piece, a commentary on crime, “Sermon on the Rock” in collaboration with Necessary Arts Pioneers. In choreographer Sonja Dumas’ new piece, “Counting”, Camille Fitzworme, back from a stint with Lion King London, is one of the dancers “on pointe” in the invocation.

Six members of Metamorphosis who obtained Advanced 1 and Advanced 2 levels from the Royal Academy of Dancing examinations held in Trinidad in March, will be part of the programme, They are Dominique Samaroo, Crystal Letren, Anisa Lewis, Crystal Lyons, Ruth Porter and Nicola Johnston. Other choreographers are Andre Largen, who has danced with Alvin Ailey, and Gary de Matas, Artistic Director of the Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre.

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