By Rhea Riley
The newly revamped Water Street Dance Company makes their mini debut with their free summer production, “Evenings”. Held at DAYNC studio, founder and artistic director, Morgan “Mo” Williams transformed their rehearsal space into a stage, creating an intimate and engaging night of dance.
Evenings is a refreshing change from a night out to the ballet or community hip hop showcase. It’s an intimate and personal production, comprised of all contemporary movement executed by the brilliant company dancers—Evenings transcends as a soft and powerful new work.
The production began with their first act “Bon Iver Suites.” Set to a collection of songs from the Wisconsin artist, Bon Iver Suites is an extension to a smaller piece by Williams, but now a fruition of improvised work created by company members. Rigid and yet ethereal, viewers were immersed in an onion of intimacy, lingering and watching in layers as each collection of dancers perform. Effortless in nature, this pedestrian piece gave comfortable contrasts in movement and set design. From the brick walls and strange ladder enveloped in soft white sheets, to the fog machine and spaced candle lights, this opener kept you warm and invited but awfully aware of your presence as a viewer into something personal. Dressed in casual adidas pants, T-shirts and tank tops, each dancer was raw, and unapologetically themselves in their athleticism and grace. Weaving in and out of trio’s, solos, and group ensembles, the piece peaked with a seamless six-person collaborative, filled with duets of Williams, Ashley Tomaszewski, Sara Silvis, Maddi McCormick, Jasper Sanchez and Nanya El Madyun. This was then followed with a solo from Williams and the dancers in which they broke the 4th wall of intimacy and invited the audience on the stage. What could have been a risky artistic move turned into a tender moment and memory for each being in the building. “Bon Iver Suites” ended with another peculiar piece centered around a motif of stiff arms moving in repetition, creating a very aesthetically pleasing conclusion.
During the intermission guests were offered libations and the studio was redesigned for the second act of the night, “The Beginning with an End.” This performance was chilling and captivating. Using every crevasse of the studio space including the mirrors, lights, and even the walls, the Water Street Company took their second act to really flex their skills. Accompanying the dancers was live music by violinist Allen Russell and rapper Ceez the Emcee. The piece began with each dancer hauntingly approaching the stage, as if consumed by the sound of Russell’s strings. They eventually found the reflection of themselves in the mirror, which triggered a shedding of a certain innocence and decent into a sinful more vigorous role. From there the piece took you on a dark and thrilling ride, seducing the audience, and highlighting the powerhouses that are Seager, Sanchez and the unforgettable Madyun. However, the rest of the spectacular cast was not far behind, building in the performances climax with a “full-out” number filled with a driving electricity. To bring the show to a close, the remaining females joined Ceez the Emcee for a final number, that pushed the boundaries of what a traditional back-up dancer can be.
This performance showcased the range of the Water Street Dance Company, whether it’s a collaboration of arts such as live music and spoken word or just dancing. Formerly known as SueMo Dance Company, “Evenings” revamps the already talented company and their ability to make interesting art that is hardly a beginning to an end. The company looks forward to showcasing this piece again in Milwaukee but first they will be performing two more shows, “Under the Moon,” August 10th, 2pm and “MKE Fringe,” August 24th 2:30pm at DAYNC.
To learn more about Water Street Dance Company and their upcoming performances visit: www.waterstreetdancemke.com