Contemporary dance company Danaka Dance premiered the work Thousand Plateaus last weekend at Irondale Theater in Brooklyn. Led by choreographer Danah Katz, the work was one of the most unique dance performances this examiner has ever experienced. The audience was in the center of the theatre, while four female dancers move in the four sides respectively, telling a very individual story. When the music changes, the dancers rotated to a new space, and shared their story with a new set of eyes focused on them.
Placing the audience in the center somehow made them seem like a jury, while the dancers presented their own cases for judgment. Sitting in the balcony away from the immediate action allowed one to see the nuances that occur as the dancers change places. There was one connecting factor as the action moves around the space- one male dancer. He was the thread that tied the stories together. He joined each of the women in an intimate duet, mimicking their movements, changing the tone and energy. What developed was a fluid tale of how two people can shape and influence each other so intensely until the time comes to end the connection and move on to the next chapter.
When the performance was done the dancers toasted the audience. Sketch artists, who were sitting in the balcony, created a gallery with sketches of the dancers and audience. The artists beautifully presented multiple perspectives and visions of the dancers in motion and at rest. The audience also became part of the creations.
Danah Katz used a Kickstarter campaign and support from the Kevin Spacey Foundation to successfully finance Thousand Plateaus. The black and white videos on the website are interesting fragments of the rehearsal process, but it cannot be compared to the intensity of experiencing this innovative work in living color. The dance world should definitely pay attention to the next phase of Danaka Dance's growth; Katz and her company are a rising entity.
Visit danakadance.com for more information about the company and past works.