The Company’s newest dance-theatre work, I Promise, draws on the imagery of rioting and rebellion to question how we define our tribe, what connects us, and what separates us. The title is a response to Martin Luther King’s iconic 1963 speech, “I have a dream.” I Promise is the sentiment of remembering to carry the dream forward. The physicality of this dynamic group work is driven from the desire to rebel and fueled by Comerford’s vision to transform unspoken emotions into physical sensations. “The irony of describing this work in words, is that we can not speak about the details that drove us to create it which reveals the reality of where we are as a society.” Solos, duets and large ensemble work create the tension of sharing this metaphorical weight and how each dancer inevitably longs to defeat it in his or her own personal way. Comerford states that the piece is hopeful in its aim and that to rebel supposes that there is something worth fighting for.
This work has proudly been selected for presentation as part of the 2017-2018 Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA) season. December 15 and 16 at 8pm and December 17 at 7pm. The Fruit, 305 S Dillard Street, Durham NC.
Additional Touring Venues: The Duke Energy Theatre [Charlotte, NC], Carolina Theatre [Durham, NC]
Press: “Rousing group work.” Site Terrific: A Third Friday When the Durham Dance Scene Just Worked, Michaela Dwyer, Indy Week, 20 September 2017
Aló is performed in the round and invites the audience into a rich and intimate shared experience. The work is driven by the desire to explore the instinctive human need to connect and how it paradoxically intersects with both the longing to be seen and the desire to hide our inner worlds. It plays with the gap between the stage and the audience, between the dancers and the spectators, so that the separation exposes connection and that which remains is us.
Aló is choreographed by Artistic Director ShaLeigh Comerford in collaboration with the Company. Original compositions are by Mike Wall at soundFORMovement.
Estimated Runtime: 40 minutes
Presented as a part of the 2015 Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA) Season.
“The dance as a whole has a most satisfying formal balance, as themes and variations spiral around to a conclusion that posits connection to others as a more powerful desire in humans than that for separateness.” Kate Dobbs Ariail for cvnc.org
The company’s most revered work, Dedicated to [ ] because of [ ] (and vice versa), received a standing ovation at its 2007 debut at Judson Church.
Dedicated is a complex dance theater work that explores the deeply personal and cultural landscape of gender and violence. Referencing political and pop culture icons, Actor and playwright Richard Kirkwood joins the dancers as an explosive opposing force to the repetition of their movement language. Kirkwood and Comerford co-wrote the text as an ever-changing context that builds on shifts of power. The result is a multilayered dance theatre experience marked by a desire for reclamation.
This work has been selected for presentation by the American Dance Festival (2015), the North Carolina Dance Festival, the American Dance Guild (2007) and the Triangle Dance Project (2013).
Estimated runtime: 20-25 minutes
“a marvelous surprise … Comerford’s dance language, with its mix of Gaga-style freedom of movement and balletic elegance, is well suited to the complex balance of dance theatre … but like any significant artwork … symbols and metaphors layer on themselves too thickly for such a simplistic description to do justice to the experience of its larger mystery. One hopes that Comerford will be able to stage this work again in the near future.”
Kate Dobbs Ariail for cvnc.org