Form Contemporary Dance Theatre, though still in its infancy, is comprised of a team of talented dancers and musicians who effortlessly appear as though they’ve been performing together for their entire lives. Their two-part show Storm and Silence tackles artists’ constant need for expression, both in the present day and throughout history.
I: Solo, choreographed by Mateo Galindo Torres, focuses on the timeless desire to get noticed, get the gig, get into the program, et cetera, and how difficult it is to be successful and allow our voices to be heard, especially as emerging artists. It comments on artists’ need to be taken seriously and to be given the trust and freedom necessary to create beautiful art. Performer Lisa Emmons has the audience holding their breath with every movement, and finally surrendering with her, as she accepts her fate.
Storm and Silence, choreographed by Lisa Emmons and written by James Farrington, is inspired by the story of a German dancer named Lorelei, who was forced to end her career during World War Two. This portion of the show depicts Lorelei’s escape into the Elbe River and how she is faced with wave after wave of impossible obstacles, preventing her escape. Caryn Chappell, as Lorelei, gives a breathtaking performance, encapsulating the struggle with every movement and every expression. Performers James Farrington, Nicole Meehan, Damian Norman and Mateo Galindo Torres, accompanied by the live music and performance of Anthony Rapoport, were an absolute pleasure to watch as well. All of the dancers have an unmistakable connection to each other and to the content, which shines through this melange of contemporary dance and movement.
The show is conceptual, yet inclusive. It is self-reflexive in the sense that it comments on its own status of being contemporary and abstract – a factor that artists often feel audience members may not understand. It takes artists, or anyone struggling to be heard through their work, and puts them under one umbrella, then showers them with potent imagery, allowing them to witness the battle, through dance and movement, and the necessity of breaking free from societal confines that prevent us from pursuing our passions.