New Shoes 17: Choreographers' Showcase
The seventeenth installment in an ongoing series of new movement-based works by emerging choreographers, directors and ensembles. New Shoes 17 at Highways in Santa Monica features works by Shenandoah Harris/Psychopomp Dance Theater, Livya Howard-Yashar, Dina Lasso, Joan Holly Padeo (in collaboration w/Carissa Songhorian), and Elaine Thap. Shenandoah Harri/Psychopomp Dance Theater's Desperantium takes its inspiration from Auguste Rodin's work The Gates of Hell. The choreographic material is drawn from the intricately beautiful body shapes of both the male and female figures, the exhibition of raw human emotion and the backstory of Dante's "Inferno". Rather than a specific story, the work creates a landscape for the dancers and the audience to confront their relationships not only with one another but with their spirituality and mortality. Livya Howard-Yashar's new work physicalizes the inner experience of those who suffer from mental illness, exploring how one struggles with a disorder in various stages: self awareness of different thought patterns and behaviors, interaction between self and others in a social environment, and becoming engulfed in these behaviors, resulting in loss of control and sense of hopelessness. Dina Lasso's duet Control, is an exploration of authenticity and creative voice, and the beginning of an experience in pushing one's personal boundaries. Performed by two women, it represents the desire to create and the fear of vulnerability and failure. Joan Holly Padeo's HELMET | GOLIATH (created in collaboration with Carissa Songhorian) exists where right and wrong reside within a spectrum with no definitive edges. Two women fuse, destroy, and rebuild classical lines with an experimental and contemporary approach. The duet canvasses an exploration of temptation versus conscience into an uninhibited theatrical experience. What happens if we become swept up in a "common truth" and see how far it takes us? In idealistic and collective social consciousness, Elaine Thap's participatory work Hive Mind, attempts to transform the group. If not we will explore failure together.
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