Have you ever seen an angel?
Have you ever seen an angel dance?
They are all around us you know.
Making their presence known in one way or another.
For some its a divine intervention, an epiphany, a message sign or signal that in many cases make it impossible to deny the presence of something
thats beyond us but very close to us at the same time.
Its overwhelming and probably why so many discard the experience and rationalize it immediately.
I know that without a shadow of a doubt that these creatures exist, in fact this past Saturday night the first of February I was witness to what I will call
a happening as opposed to just any regular dance show or theater excursion. "Ripening" which is described by the dance company led by Vanessa
Walters as an ever evolving, indeed ever ripening performance entity.
Entity in definition: An entity is something that exists by itself, although it need not be of material existence.
Which is exactly the point I am trying to get at, this performance was beyond the stage and the surroundings it took place in, it brought me into its
message and hypnotized me to the point of silent hysteria.
Held in the Irondale Center 85 South Oxford Street Brooklyn, NY 11217 which is a neighborhood that has undergone so many major changes
and is now a hot spot for the arts. Of course BAM is right up the block
so when it comes to the arts well this neighborhood has been a ground breaking source of cutting edge entertainment and education for years. But
even though its so well known a native New Yorker like me, is still in awe to the newness and fresh un explored territory that it offers.
The 3700 square foot space of The Irondale Center with 1900 square feet of balcony surrounding the space on three sides gives one more than
enough room to stretch out and take in the sights and this is where I chose to find a lofty perch and watch what
Mrs. Walters had in store for me and the smashingly sold out house.
The large wooden plank floors were painted Black the lighting was dark on the balcony and strategically lit on the stage below.
The moody base and string music continued to lead me deeper into the experience and then there they were, fleeting flashes of white light darting
back and forth with the greatest dexterity, the light being the performers their pearly white skin glowing like some ethereal underwater organism
blasting light through the darkness.
The costumes varied from little bo peep dresses to complete nudity.
The body's were pure perfection, with every move the sinews in their muscles took form and were like a tribute to the limits and potential the human
body is capable of.
After some intense concentration on my part I began to understand what I was watching,
I did no research or preparation for the viewing of this performance as I love a good surprise
and boy what a surprise indeed.
This was an exploration of life being told through the body's
of dancers, the joy and excitement of the entry, the hang ups and the growing pains of adolescence the struggle to let go of the things we hold on to
and the sweet but dark song that we leave this world with.
But wait, just as I thought the show was over there was more much more.
The next group of performers began to appear on the balcony and the show continued with a cabaret co curated by Faux Pas.
with a selection of nude dancers in solo performances on the balcony stage.
A masked ingenue danced in the nude glorious in form almost classical in her movements she produced a basket filled with rose petals and sprinkled
some here then there and came closer to the seats i was glued to, then she sprinkled the petals over the balcony railing down to the stage below us
which was now barren as the crowded theater below had found its way to the balcony section.
Then again one at a time the angels began to appear darting onto the open stage like frightened deer escaping their captors. From one end of the
floor to the other they moved with lightning speed until there were four of them standing still in a line together.
The masked woman had disappeared from the balcony and was the next to join the group below.
Her size in comparison to the others seemed gigantic, all of them completely nude they began to
Dance, almost float and circle their larger counterpart.
Fascinated bewildered and turned on like a monk in a brothel, I found myself letting out a chuckle of exasperation and excitement that surprised and
embarrassed me to some degree.
I had forgotten there were others around me watching the show as well.
After all was said and done and this including musical performances by men with voices like women
I was spent. Satiated and convinced that I had witnessed some translation of genesis.
An outcry for understanding a movement in evolution. I applaud Vanessa Walters for her mind blowing dedication to her craft and the many brilliantly
talented dancers, artists, designers both stage and clothing, for creating a sweet lullaby for a spiritually delusional writer like myself.
RIPENING is a performance creation involving dance, film, theater, and installation. The House teaser video was
created by choreographer Vanessa Walters in collaboration with taxiplasm.
Performers in order of appearance are Vanessa Walters, Jennifer Sydor, Janna Diamond, and Lynn Barr. Music and
sound design by Peter Salett; wardrobe, costumes, styling by Karen Young; produced by Cynthia Fieldus Salett.
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