CityDance Ensemble presents “Hold Your Breath Until the End”


Whenever I see CityDance perform, I am on a dance high… I want to get out of my seat, dance their choreography and perform with their same intense quality. I left the CityDance concert at the Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring on Saturday, February 26th feeling inspired. I wanted to choreograph and move.

The show consisted of several world premieres from the beginning of an evening length piece by Christopher K. Morgan, one of Dance Magazines Choreographers to Watch (look for the article in April), to pieces by winners of the 2011 CityDance NEXT Commission for upcoming choreographers.

The first piece, Roger and Lucie, was a funny love duet between Jason Garcia Ignacio, who played a janitor, and his mop. The mop was given the name Lucie LaFrange and Ignacio really gave her a personality. Lucie started as a shy character, but Ignacio’s dance moves and persistence persuaded her to love him.

Christopher K. Morgan’s Limited Visibility was a dynamic piece that left me wondering what would happen next. The choreography and lighting effects intrigued me. The back wall of the stage was exposed emphasizing the honesty of the piece. “What are the things we hide from public view?” Limited sight, limited lighting and limited clothing did not stop the dancers from fully exploring different feelings and uncomfortable actions with the audience. Extensive lighting cues (most completed onstage by the dancers), high heels, platforms, chairs and rolls of marley helped the dancers take part in answers to the question.

The second half of the concert was my favorite due to the extensive partnering and movement sections. Hold Your Breath Until The End, choreographed by Gregory Dolbashian, winner of the 2011 NEXT Commission and You Go First, choreographed by Loni Landon, winner of the 2011 NEXT Commission, were expressive, movement-driven duets. The energy and strength of the dancers was completely engaging and some of the movement reminded me of the seamless flow of Doug Varone’s dance style.

The last piece was a beautiful work based on reflections about family. Paul Gordon Emerson, CityDance Artistic Director, and the dancers choreographed Conversations with My Father. The dance was beautiful and highlighted special moments with each of the dancers. The dancers danced alone, learned from other dancers and worked together as a unit. The costumes, lighting and set fit the piece perfectly. The movement quality was impressive and I would love to see this dance again.

The CityDance Ensemble is “a modern dance company that can compete with the best… (The Washington Post).” Did anyone else get a chance to see this concert? What did you think?