Home Movies

The New York Times: Jennifer Dunning

This year at Dance Theater Workshop, Everett presented an astonishingly seamless blend of words, video, set elements and dance in “Home Movies.” The piece was more tears, laughter and poignant memory than high-tech effects. Like the video dance artist Cathy Weis, Everett used simple material, including actual home movies and spoken anecdotes about the early lives of the five company members, two of whom are siblings. Parents become children and children their parents, “Home Movies” suggested. And dreams may not come true, but they are sometimes crowded out by realities just as rich.

The Village Voice: 
Deborah Jowitt

[Everett] was a left-field hit practically from its inception, presenting hour-long pieces that weave speech, movement, and video in witty and beguiling ways…The result [Home Movies] can move you to hilarity, also to tears. And, in some strange way, although the five performers are diverse, their stories are woven together so intricately through movement that their recollections begin to seem archetypal. We have all felt these emotions, or similar ones…No one’s story is treated as more important than anyone else’s. The tragic and the wryly comic coexist in a fine theatrical balance that honors both.

…But it is the dancing that connects and powers the stories and binds the protagonists together. Pedestrian walks, gestures, and poses are set in elegant patterns, accented by fancier dancing by Rachael, the onetime Juilliard student; mild acrobatics; and breaking by Ros. Structures built with bodies coalesce and dissolve; One person is flown aloft, another tumbles and is caught, two join to assist a third. Images relate to text in subtle ways.

…In all of Everett’s work, there’s a pleasing tension between the homemade and the adroitly professional. The performing is unforced and low key – as true as the old photos and blurry home movies, and framed with care.

The Phoenix: Johnette Rodriguez

Anyone who wants to experience the full impact of collaborative art, should see Everett Dance Theatre’s Home Movies. Anyone who wants to understand how personal experience can be translated into art should see Home Movies. Anyone (and everyone) should see Home Movies. And see it again. Because you can’t get all that’s in the sprawling (but incredible tight) multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-media piece the first time around.

The Providence Journal: Brian Rourke

It is hard to say exactly what Home Movies is. It’s dance, it’s theater, it’s storytelling, it’s movies, mostly it’s very good. The latest creation by Everett Dance Theatre… is a complex, multi-layered, thought-provoking, sometimes somber, sometimes silly, but always artistic look at life.


Somewhere in the Dream

The Village Voice:
Elizabeth Simmer

Everett Dance Theatre’s “Somewhere in the Dream,” a phantasmagoric exploration of a multicultural, multigenerational community using fragmented text and imagery from Hamlet, Giselle, daytime TV, and a ghetto playground, triumphed at Hostos College. The Providence, Rhode Island-based ensemble, directed by Aaron and Dorothy Jungels, speaks several languages that the Bronx audience took immediately to heart: ballet, homoeroticism, hip-hop, Spanish, acrobatics, rage and revolution. Cambodian youngster Sokeo Ros riveted us with his popping and locking. Maria Monteiro, Marvin Novogrodski, and a dozen others demonstrated the permeability of gender and race. Until you have seen the Wilis represented by rolling panels of chain-link fence, you will not understand the transformative nature of art.


Boston Herald: Vicky Sanders

Part nightmare and part sweet dream, the work is a phantasmagorical journey through literary and choreographic history (there are liberal references to Hamlet and “Giselle”). The destination is an urban landscape of chain-link fences, break dancing, alienation and hope. It’s quite a trip.


Body of Work

The New York Times: Jennifer Dunning

“Body of Work” […] is an eloquent, beautifully realized piece that addresses work, workers and trade unionism in the United States particularly the notion of the surplus worker. The choreography in “Body of Work,” which is set to music that ranges from Bach to salsa to old union songs, consists of moves that subtly suggest machines as well as job-related motions and working masses that have lost their way in a darkness once illuminated by life-sustaining employment. There are telling fragments of videotaped interviews with old unionists and others. 

As the performers move, they speak a text that incorporates historical fact and darkly satirical commentary on finding, getting and keeping jobs today. The company makes brilliantly evocative use of simple props, and the manipulation of video images projected on moving boards and fabric is astonishing.


Dance Magazine: Gus Solomons Jr. 

The Vignettes spin into movement, inspired by the physicality of working, with dancers scrambling in and out of a rolling tram car – ubiquitous symbol of industrial workplaces. A Bach cello sonata (on tape) imbues the burly, pedestrian action of one stunning trio with profound eloquence. In another, the men, stripped to the waist, stoke a glowing furnace, while a nearby grinding wheel sprays sparks. The final tableau commemorates the dignity of labor: in a sea of white fabric billowing around her feet, a pieceworker steadily plies her sewing machine, manufacturing the garments we take for granted.


The Science Project

The New York Times:
Jack Anderson

How lovely the patterns were when members of the Everett Dance Theatre shown lights through pieces of glass on Friday night. What they were literally doing was conducting scientific experiments. But while they did so, this troupe from Providence, R.I., created magic.

There were many marvels in “The Science Project,” a dance-theater work directed and choreographed by Dorothy Jungels. The performers poured water from pitchers into tubs. They balanced on seesaws, set pendulums swaying, dropped weights from ladders, slid cups down chutes and let balls roll over their bodies. They did all this to a taped collage that included original music by John Belcher and selections from composers as varied as Beethoven and John Coltrane. 

[…] That science can be terrifying as well as exhilarating became evident when the dancers recited texts by and about Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the atomic scientist who confessed that he was appalled by the forces he helped unleash. Therefore when members of the cast streched put on a bed of nails and mopped and whipped the floor, it was impossible to tell if they were engaged in additional experiments or performing acts of contrition.

Many commemorators have suggested that aesthetics and ethics may be related. So, too, the moral responsibility of scientists are often debated. This production raised familiar issues. Nevertheless, they remain issues worth discussing, and Ms. Jungels presented them with theatrical flair.


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