Dec 08

A Tangible Metaphor: THE SLEEPRUNNER

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Sleeprunner_4

Merli V. Guerra and the cast perform Luminarium Dance Company’s The Sleeprunner. Photo: Ryan Carollo.

Presented by Luminarium Dance Company
Choreography by Merli V. Guerra & Kimberleigh A. Holman
Music arranged by Merli V. Guerra, Kimberleigh A. Holman, Christos Zevos

December 5 – 13, 2014
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second St, Cambridge MA
Luminarium on Facebook

1hr, 20 mins. no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.”

-Cobb, Inception (2010) written and directed by Christopher Nolan

(Cambridge, MA) In the director’s note, Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman describe the most relatable elements of the Sleeprunner as “sleep, dreams, and the surreal.” The production incorporates the human need for sleep, modern dance, and tech design to create a tangible metaphor for a universal experience. At times grotesque but always beautiful, this production explores through motion what it is to experience a deep, meaningful rest. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Luminarium Dance Presents: The Sleeprunner, December 2014

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sleep runner

THE SLEEPRUNNER
December 5 . 6 . 12 . 13 @
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
East Cambridge MA
BUY TICKETS
Luminarium Dance on Facebook

Don’t miss Luminarium’s largest production of the season during its two-weekend fall run. The production will take place at the beautiful and historic Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second Street, East Cambridge MA), highlighting the company’s signature imaginative choreography, lighting, and scenic design, while complementing the caliber of its past feature productions Mythos:Pathos (2012) and Secrets & Motion (2013).

What makes Luminarium uniquely dance & theatre?
  • Luminarium is the first dance company to be invited for, then granted, a Bob Jolly Charitable Trust Award, for its productions’ masterful theatricality in addition to dance. (All previous awards have gone to theatre companies and individuals.)
  • Luminarium was featured as one of 10 “Unsung Heroes” in the Boston performing arts scene, alongside New Repertory Theatre and Company One, by Improper Bostonian magazine.
  • Costumes for The Sleeprunner are being created by rising New York costume designer Sueann Leung, whose work was most notably featured in the runway section of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Luminarium’s The Sleeprunner marks another first for the local dance community as one of the smallest/youngest Boston-based companies to be adopting a theatre performance format, expanding to a two-week run.
  • Its performers come from an energetically-eclectic background that include a nationally-acclaimed colorguard performer, professional voice actor, internationally-touring classical Indian dancer, tap-dancing winner of the World Cup in Germany, and (just to add to the diversity) even a PhD candidate in Biology who is an aerial circus artist on the side.
  • The Sleeprunner will be lit and co-choreographed by professional theatre lighting design and choreographer Kim Holman, who does lighting design and choreography for local Boston theatre companies ranging from Babson College to the Boston Public Schools.
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Jun 09

Luminarium Dance Company’s 4th Anniversary Gala & Showcase

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Luminarium’s 4th ANNIVERSARY GALA & SHOWCASE
Come celebrate Luminarium’s 4th anniversary with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and special performances!
Sunday . June 22 . 5–8pm
CENTER FOR ARTS AT THE ARMORY

Luminarium Dance Company is proud to announce its 4th Anniversary Gala & Showcase, celebrating four successful years in the Boston dance community. The evening will feature delicious foods from local establishments, speeches from collaborators and local art innovators, a silent auction, and exclusive 2014 Season announcements. Enjoy live performances of favorite Luminarium repertory, as well as footage and sneak peeks of the company’s latest works and projects. Don’t miss this chance to mingle with Luminarium’s Artistic Directors, dancers, and supporters, while taking in the beautiful Armory space (191 Highland Avenue, Somerville MA).

TICKETS
Tickets are now on sale!
This year there is a special “Young Professional” discounted ticket that’s only $20.
Advance purchase of tickets recommended. Available at door until capacity is reached.
Email tickets@luminariumdance.org or call 617.477.4494 with questions.

Please note: For this event, we are not taking reservations. In order to ensure your seat, please purchase your tickets in advance. Thank you!

Luminarium’s 2014 Season features the choreography of Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman, with performers:
Rose Abramoff
Jess Chang
Melenie Diarbekirian
Elena Greenspan
Jessica Jacob
Amy Mastrangelo
Katie McGrail
Jennifer Roberts

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Mar 03

Do the Research Before Enjoying: MAN IN A CASE

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Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Adapted from Two Stories by Anton Chekhov
Adapted and Directed by Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater
Choreographed by Annie-B Parson
Featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tymberly Canale, Chris Giarmo, Paul Lazar and Aaron Mattocks

February 25 – March 2, 2014
Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Baryshnikov Productions on Facebook
Big Dance Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

My apologies to ArtsEmerson, Big Dance Theatre, Baryshnikov Productions and anyone else I forgot to mention for the tardiness of this review. I was waylaid by illness this weekend and couldn’t complete my review.

(Boston) Man in a Case is effective theatre that turns Chekhov on its head while retelling the two classic stories “Man in a Case” and “Almost Love.” It does not bridge the 19th and the 21st centuries as advertised. It does, however, transport the viewer into an existential dreamspace/nightmare of meta and experimental theatre. Just in case one is mislead by my description, this was an interesting, thought-provoking performance but it’s not light fare for a family hoping to experience “culture” in the city. Man in a Case could be considered “weird” and weird theatre can be exquisite. It all depends on perspective. Continue reading

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Oct 02

Rhythm of Rajastan Promo

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Promo by Gillian Daniels

On Friday, October 4th, 7:30pm at Johnny D’s, Rhythm of Rajastan will be performing as part of WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts.

The Indian band is unusual, deriving its music from two separate cultures in the North Indian Thar Desert, the Langas and the Manganiar.  Both approach their music with different styles. The Langas are more dependent on melody and their voices, using the sindhi sarangi (lute) and algoza (double flute) instead of percussion due to Sufi influence. “Langa” means “song giver.” The Mangiar, meanwhile, are dependent on the frantic, deep rhythm of the dholak (the double headed barrel drum) and the bowed kamayacha.
These two musical dialects have been combined by folklorist Nitin Nath Harsh.  The band was formed in North India and have played throughout North America, including the Chicago World Festival and the 5th Annual New York Gypsy Festival. They have also performed in Shanghai, Beijing, and Jordan.
A dancer will be present at their performance Friday.
World Music, a non-profit organization that attempts to showcase world culture for the benefit of New England, launched CRASHarts in 2001. They present upwards of 70 concerts a year in an attempt to educate and bring diversity to performances in the Boston area.

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Sep 16

Poetry in Motion: Luminarium’s “Secrets and Motion”

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Photo: Ryan Carollo, Melenie Diarbekirian, Rose Abramoff, and Mark Kranz in A Secret in Three Phases

Luminarium’s “Secrets and Motion”
Featuring the choreography of Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman

Review is based on the Sept. 14, 2013 performance
More of Luminarium’s events can be found here.

Center for the Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
Luminarium Dance on Facebook

Company: Rose Abramoff, Jess Chang, Melenie Diarbekirian, Jessica Jacob, Mark Kranz, Amy Mastrangelo, Katie McGrail
Guest Performers: Emily Evans, Elena Greenspan, Rachel McKeon, Jennifer Roberts, Emily Sulock
Collaborating Artists include: Larry Pratt, Photographer; Hannah Verlin, Installation Artist; Caryn Oppenheim, Poet

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville) Luminarium Dance is dedicated to creating a unique experience for its audience by consistently using contemporary and modern dance with aspects of lighting to push the performance envelope. In Secrets & Motion they use the simple lighting design to compliment the choreography. The shadows created by the motion of their bodies become an extension of the dancer as well as an extension of the set. Combined with companion art installations and video that occur in the same gallery as the dance, theirs is a powerful play on poetry in motion and the mysteries hidden in the light and dark. Continue reading

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Jun 22

There Will Be Boobs: “The Teaseday Club”

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Tuesday, July 9 at 7:30PM
The  Teaseday Club Facebook Page

The Teaseday Club meets the second Tuesday of every month at The Davis Square Theater and tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the box office.

Join us for some of Boston’s funniest comedians, sexiest burlesque dancers, and weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful performers of all stripes!

SCHEDULED TO PERFORM (so far) ON July 9:

SARI KALIN’s Porch-i-oke!
Belly Dance from ZEHARA NACHASH!
The song stylings of KITTY DREXEL, Queen Geek!
Burlesque from VIKKI LIKKERISH!
Boston’s ‘Queen of the Fans’ MISS MINA MURRAY!

The possible return of the missing Master of Ceremonies, JOHN J. KING!

Support Your Favorite Performer!
The Teaseday Club is a varied variety show the second Tuesday of every month at The Davis Square Theater. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the show — and every ticket is a vote for your favorite performer! Each month, the performer with the most votes wins fame, prizes, a slot in the following month’s Teaseday showcase and THE GREAT TEASEDAY COOKIE (which may be a cupcake).

The Sales Champion for May & June was BRIGITTE BISOUX… but she won’t be performing in July, because she’ll be in Europe. Coincidence? You be the judge.

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Jun 12

“Shaping Sound”: Fabulous, Weightless Contortions

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Photo Credit: Shaping Sound website, http://www.shapingsoundco.com/media

Produced by Break The Floor Productions
Created and executed by the Creative Team

Colonial Theatre
Boston, MA
June 10, 2012
Touring Schedule
Shaping Sound Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Break the Floor Productions’ Shaping Sound is a slick beast.  It unfolds like a series of pop music videos, surreal not in how the company experiments with choreography but in how the dancers create a synchronized smoothness.  Set to artists like Florence and the Machine, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Queen, each number is a crowd-pleasing mechanism of synthesized glamour. Continue reading

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Mar 11

Sex, Sexy, Sexy (Sometimes Not), SEX: SUCH TIMES a SEX FESTIVAL

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This is a website primarily for educated adults. We do review some Children’s theater for the benefit of all participants. If offended by the content below, one is cordially invited to skip this post. There are other delightful offerings on this site that will suit you better.

SUCH TIMES a SEX FESTIVAL of new work by Boston’s SEXIEST Playwrights

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions

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Audience members were invited to share their secret fantasies. They did. A lot.

The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Friday, March 1st @ 8pm – Saturday, March 9th @ 8pm
Heart & Dagger Productions Facebook Page

It should go without saying that with such a title that this production is not safe for children and prudish adults. It may lead an audience member to expect live-action porn. This was not the case. The production did not contain explicit acts of carnal engagement but the stagings were otherwise immediately revealing to all but the most innocent of eyes and ears.  Continue reading

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Mar 03

A Night with “Metáfora”

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Apologies to the cast and crew of Ballet Flamenco de Andulucia and World Music/CRASHarts! This review has been posted late to the compromised health of the Queen Geek. The work ethic of Mademoiselle Daniels is impeccable. 

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía performing the US premiere of Metáfora Friday, March 1, 7:30pm, Saturday, March 2, 8pm and Sunday, March 3, 3pm Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page 

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía’s Metáfora begins with a live band and several female dancers taking the stage. They drag skirts of frothing layers but with the elegance of peacock tails sighing along the floor.

When the music begins, the flurry with which they dance continues through the rest of the show. For two acts, whether the stage is sparse or full, the energy is potent and seems to fill the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

For the first half of Metáfora, the audience is treated to unfiltered flamenco. Soloists Patricia Guerrero and Eduardo Leal are briefly isolated from the rest of the company, each doing their best to enflame the crowd. They are accompanied by the voices of Juana Salazar and Cristian Guerrero. The combination brings life to a stage that feels often very isolated.

 In the second half, the “ballet” part of the Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía becomes more prominent. The dancers, when the curtain rises, move in closer formation. The clothing is also more economical, meaning no more frothing skirts. Instead, viewers are treated to the addition of castanets.

Some of the dances drag here, though, where the first half seemed tighter. The pacing is off even if the dance still remains largely hypnotic. It all ends on a high note, the entire company taking the stage as they send the audience off.

I left Metáfora feeling content, but something about the set up felt too sterile to achieve the mood the company seemed to be aiming for. While I enjoyed the performance, I couldn’t help but wonder about the staging. It felt like the entire show was made for a stage at the center of a room, surrounded by people cheering on the dancers, not a stage up front divorced from the audience. The effect feels alienating. When showcasing a dance that feeds off Spanish culture and style, I hoped to be as engaged as I was the first moment the dancers of the Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía revealed themselves. I liked the show deeply but the moment of falling in love with it never came.

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