Sunday, June 7, 2015
Photo courtesy of Esduardo Mariscal Dance Theater.
The opening sequence of "Carne" performed last week at the Portland Stage, was a visual and aural treat that overwhelmed (in a great way) all the senses. Choreographer Esduardo Mariscal introduced us to his large cast of characters as they invaded the stage in an almost dreamlike procession. A lone figure crouched in front of the audience is the first image we see. Then slowly others appear, a woman enters with a magic wand while performers emerge out of the top of large sculptural blocks. A trap door opens and a body appears from under the stage. It's a processional with so many interesting people and visuals that as an audience member we understand from the first few minutes that this will be a complex, exciting show. The performers range from classical dancers to martial artists to aerialists.
This multimedia performance featured original music by Nicholas Brewer and a mural that was drawn live on stage by Wyatt Barr. Original poetry was delivered by Jennifer Lunden and the lightening design was by Gregg Carville.
Mariscal gathered an eclectic group of performers and used their varying talents to great success. Everyone danced, and danced with much strength and grace. Then some also performed exciting martial arts moves and some acrobat feats on an aerial silken rope. There was humor by Beth Gorski as she donned a red cat outfit and showed us what a feline dancer had to say. Two veteran dancers Nancy Salmon and Jeff Decareau, brought the wisdom of experience as well as strong technique to their characters. While all the performers shined, there were four exceptional stand-out dancers who completed some very beautiful duet work strikingly performed by Victoria Broshes, Pamela Wiley, Kerry Kaye and James Riley. Also in the cast were Dorothea Amara, Tegan Bullard, Justin Cedrone, Bethany Field, Steve Fortune, Debi Irons, Zach Labbay, Simon Skold, Camden Spear, Ella Spear, Simon Spear and Wendy Ward.
Mariscal calls his brand of dance theater "Comical Surralism" and that aptly describes all the twists and turns the company presented throughout the 90 minute show. It was a delight for our eyes, ears and imaginations.
Carne, at the Portland Stage, May 28-30, 2015