Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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Scales of Memory

As soon as I saw the stage light up at BAM, my imagination was captivated. The music and light from the first scene created a serene atmosphere and I was reminded of the ocean, as if the dancers themselves were placed on the shores of Africa. When I watch dance performances, my mind usually lingers, and linger it did in a sense, but my eyes were still drawn to the stage. My favorite part of the performance, done by the Urban Bush Women and Compagnie Jant-Bi, was when a group of guys came on stage. This was partly because from afar, before that I could not entirely tell which of the performers were male or female. The men danced raucously but with graceful and synchronized movements.

Movement was the best way to describe Les Ecailles de la Mémoire. I loved when the men danced with their red cloths, bringing color and unity to the stage. The red cloth set my memory in motion once again, because one of my good friends once wore a shirt of that color during a significant time in my life. Even though the story was a little hard to follow, I thought there were several motives that infused the plot with meaning. Kinship, joy, relationships, and the past were all touched on at different times. The onlookers were provoked to think. The dancers portrayed playful and complex people in a graceful manner. The combination of the Women from Brooklyn and the others from Senegal created a dance style that was impressive, unique and memorable, leaving a memorable impression on the diverse audience.

1 comment

1 Yuliya { 12.28.08 at 11:44 pm }

I completely agree with you. I think that the entire purpose of this show was to make you think. I loved how you described the show with word “movement” – I think that it precisely the right word.