Victor Alexander, recently named the new Director of the Ruth Page School of Dance, presents his emotional
evening length work, Line of Sighs, as the culmination of his year-long Lab Artist Choreographic Project at the Ruth Page Center with The Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 8 at 3 p.m.
Premiering in April 2012, Line of Sighs provided a visually stimulating maze of dancers, twisting and flying through elastic cords connected along the back wall and on the downstage lip of the stage, to encompass the entire space in an overwhelming visual image. Over a year later, Line of Sighs has grown into a full length piece taking its viewers on a trip with emotions that haven't been fully accessed by the Hedwig group of dancers since their moving performance of Andrea Miller's Dust, performed by Victor Alexander himself (replacing an injured Justin Deschamps) and Michel Rodriguez at The Other Dance Festival in September, 2011. Line of Sighs' new iteration includes guests Benjamin Wardell and Katie Graves, adding an eye catching aesthetic to the otherwise all Cuban group. Wardell's lines capture attention as he noodles through the cords and partners with a fresh grace, typically un-found with this group.
A high point comes with a solo from the younger of the two Gutierrez sisters. Ten minutes into the piece, dancer Jessie Gutierrez enacts a powerful solo atop the chords, stretched tight below her. The only complaint about this moment is desire for this solo to have come sooner and last longer in the piece. It seems as if Alexander is holding out this gem until much too long into the venture.
As the piece moves, the elastic lines and the movement within, "intermingle and render visible the human longing for connection- whether existing or imagined, enduring or transitory, living or lost."
To view the Kickstarter fund, helping to support the project, click here.
To view the incredible video preview, click here.
(Video footage by Daniel Kullman of Bitter Jester Creative).