Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
A predominance of black and white costumes, creative set and fine choreography complemented by balanced and controlled dancing, characterised the Movements Dance Company of Jamaica's 32nd concert season dubbed 'Rite of Time'.
Held at The Little Theatre, the Saturday evening audience witnessed and experienced a contrasting range of themes of love and war, or spirit of life and the pangs of sin.
Religion opened and closed the six-dance programme. The dances were Monica Campbell McFarlane's 2012 choreographed Bread of Life and Christopher Huggins' 2011 choreographed The Wrath of God.
Light gaily steps were the hall-mark of Bread of Life, the curtain-raiser. Its opening motif with three white-costumed clad dancers was fairly executed. Subsequently, the 'Eucharist' party continued against a backdrop lit with red-coloured lights and a projected moon.
Contrastingly for The Wrath of God, except for God who wore white Huggins, the dancers were dressed in full black. But the 'Company's signature piece', so described by announcer Norma Brown-Bell, was more than its costumes. It was a plaza of high energy, fast pace, exploration of levels, beautiful coordination and just execution.
Also, making the top cut was Take Two. It was choreographed for the 1996 dance concert season by the late founding member Neville Black and remounted for 2013 by Patrick Johnson. The classic dance was a testimony of great choreography.
The power of the choreography is riveted in the story it tells. Had it been a story told with the spoken words, the opening lines could easily have been "One night two lovers met. They express their feelings for each other through frolic and laughter." And the nicely fused work of art between choreography and execution catapulted into a memorable ending. Complementing the brilliantly choreographed piece was fantastic dancing from guest dancer Levy Morrison and Movement's Lesa Kow.
In contrast was Mother's of War. Choreographed for the 2013 season by Christopher Huggins, the piece was a battlefield of sorrow and pain. It also had some patches of fine choreography. This was evident in the choreographer's decision to have the mothers dancing the battlefield actions. Huggins' injection of humour at the end was also contrasting and surprisingly funny.
There was also some humour in Patrick Johnson's 2004 choreographed Semicolon. The symbolic dance drama, clinically executed by Jade Arscott, Lazaro, Daryl Caballero and Johnson, made a clear distinction between men who are commas and those who are fullstops, the takers versus the shakers.
Completing the programme of the 2013 concert season was Campbell McFarlane's 2000 choreographed Spring Time Jubilee, and a spirited performance from saxophonist Warren Harris with accompaniment from keyboardist André Lopez.
Spring Time Jubilee was choreographer Campbell McFarlane's second of two dance pieces. Her use of various levels, including clusters, the visible versus the hidden and other imaginative formations, along with the Bert Rose-designed set, was quite impressive. The shift from earthy colours to vibrant red by costume designers Denise Robinson/Atira Robinson and Russell, was another highlight of the dance.
Saturday's show was the second of the three-day dance concert which opened on Friday and closed yesterday.