No Pre-Studying Necessary

Review of Farewell at Spectrum Dance Theater by Kaya P.

Going in, I had no idea what to expect, all I knew was the dance was supposed to be about the relationship between China and the United States. I was expecting not to get the dance but, I was pleasantly surprised to find the performance to be meaningful even with no prior understanding. The choreography and music tells the story sufficiently, no pre-studying necessary. The venue is very intimate with audience on three sides of the stage. Often, the dancers come within inches of you so no stretching your legs! Be prepared for a bit of stiffness after sitting in metal bleachers for ninety minutes straight.

Meaghan Sanford. Photo by Gabriel Bienczycki, Zebra Visual

The music alone is well worth it. Melodies are layered with live percussion, speech and bicycle wheels, punctuated by the sounds of the dancers. Each performer plays a character and I enjoyed watching the relationships develop as the dance progressed. A lot of the partner work confused me I didn’t feel it conveyed as strong or as clear of a message as the group segments did. At times I was overwhelmed with how much was going on onstage I had to force myself to relax and accept that I could not see everything, and maybe that was the point. Overall I enjoyed the intensity of the piece. I liked walking out feeling like I had learned something. I would definitely recommend staying for the discussion afterwards. Even if you are too shy to ask questions its cool to learn some of the motivations behind the creative decisions. Anyone is fair game to ask questions to the choreographer, musicians, and dancers so go for it!

Tory Peil, Geneva Jenkins, Amber Mayberry & Joel Myers Photo by Gabriel Bienczycki, Zebra Visual

- Kaya P
February 20th, 2010

Farewell is closed. For more information about Spectrum Dance Theater's upcoming performances and workshops, visit
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