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Ode to the Planet and the Humanity at the Buglisi Dance Theatre

The BUGLISI DANCE THEATRE is acclaimed for poignant, theatrical dances and multi-disciplinary collaborations that promote awareness of global issues and embolden audiences to recognise within themselves their own humanity.

The show opened with “Moss Anthology: Variation#5” choreographed by award-winning Jacqulyn Buglisi. The Moss project is an awakening to the current global climate crises that threatens the existence of all life on our planet, a performance that unites art and science.

It was a green fascinating journey through the evolution of the Earth, from the Creation to the present day, in which eight dancers (Blakeley White-McGuire with Jessica Higgins, Jessica Sgambelluri, Greta Campo, Can Wang, Lindsay Jorgensen, Carolina Rivera Moreno and Aoi Sato), draped in opulent silk robes moved with heavy and quick steps on their own bare heels. They looked like dew drops on a layer of moss or little leaves in a wood at the mercy of the weather, or perhaps they were angels or recently passed souls spiraling into the light and the wind.

Choreographer Ms Meagan King portrayed the moving story of the five young boys of color unjustly labeled “The Central Park 5”, who were wrongfully convicted of the brutal rape and assault of a white female jogger in 1989, spending up to thirteen years in juvenile and adult prison. The intention of “KINGS” was to illustrate this injustice, with a powerful piece performed by five male dancers (Christopher Taylor, Aaron Frisby, Emerick Ligonde, Isaiah Harvey, Jayden Williams) and a strong speech about racism and stereotypes spoken by Wayne ‘Juice’ Mackins.

Jacqulyn Buglisi choreographed “In the name of the Fire, and the Flame and Grace..jb”, a ballet dedicated to all people facing oppression and the plight of refugees today.

Performed by the talented Blakeley White-McGuire to rainy and thundering music, this was an incredible and excruciating demonstration of agony and pain.

Blakeley White-McGuire in solo, Photo by Eduardo Patino

Blakeley White-McGuire in solo, Photo by Eduardo Patino

Next was one of the best moments of the show, the NYC premiere of “UNUM”, a collaboration between the choreographer Virginie Mecene and the Italian composer Jacopo Baboni-Schilingi that involves an interactive musical concept. It utilizes groundbreaking medical technology that is conceived to measure the breath. The expansions and compressions of the dancer’s rib cages as they breathe through the choreography are collected into data that is translated into sounds, thus allowing to create a musical support for the dance piece.

Performed by Alessio Crognale, Ben Schultz and Ricardo Barrett, with tremendous dance and performing skills, “UNUM” explores the idea that mankind comes from the same force of energy. No matter where we are from, when we are born, what gender we are or what religion we belong to. Unconsciously, we are one.

I’m still thinking about “I LOVE YOU” by Ron De Jesus of Hubbard Street and Twyla Tharp’s Movin’ Out and performed by the extraordinary Kristine Bendul and Abdiel Jacobsen.

Inspired by the duo’s desire to transcend dance by showing the many facets of their combined dance experiences, we can appreciate an exquisite performance with amazing splits and turns and a lovely complicity between the two dancers to the notes of Billie Eilish’s song.

Last was “SAND (2001)” by Jacqulyn Buglisi, to music by Philip Glass, inspired by the beauty of the desert and the soil of the Earth that we are so cherish for our existence.

MossRunning Photo by Terese Capucilli

MossRunning Photo by Terese Capucilli

Performed by Blakeley White-McGuire, Ben Schultz, So Young An, Ari Mayzick, Anne O’Donnell and Lloyd Knight, the work was a delightful moment with seducing shapes and luminous textures that offered a timeless adventure of perceptions.

At the end of the show the audience gave a just and deserved standing ovation for a beautiful and cheerful work with an important and heartfelt topic, thanks to the magnificent job of Ms. Buglisi and the Buglisi Dance Theatre.

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