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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Samantha Giron Dance Project's Sex, Love, Money Reveals the Yearnings of the Soul

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge MARK ANDREW WILSON
  • Mark Andrew Wilson

In a modern ballet chock-full of subtle relevés, body rolls, and passionate glances Sex, Love, Money -- the latest from the Samantha Giron Dance Project -- viscerally represents one of the most complicated feelings we human beings endure: love.

Through careful choreography, superb sound design, and romantic lighting, Sex, Love, Money (which ran last weekend at CounterPULSE ) explored what happens when bodies are in relationship with one another, when souls are involved, when passion becomes king, and when we are completely vulnerable and out of control.

Each act demonstrated a different type of romantic relationship and the balance (or lack thereof) felt by its participants. Asymmetric body movements, done simultaneously by each dancer, represented the conflicting emotions within so many of us when falling in love. Throughout, the dancers (Vivian Aragon, Jackie Goneconti, and Ildiko Polony) juxtaposed repetitive actions with lengthy fluid movements, illustrating that confused state.

Due to minimal lighting and specific spotlights, each form was multiplied by its own shadow(s). We didn't see just one, but many; the dancers' physical contact became blurred, and our eyes were drawn to the walls behind them instead of the dancers themselves. This powerful effect seemed to mock our ability to see truth.

The score by Ken Christianson was a delight, ranging from muted underwater explosions to trembling violins, glitchy electronic melodies, and pulsating beats. Sprinkled throughout were anecdotal soundbites about marriage, which frame the piece.

In the last moment of the last act, the three dancers walked offstage in their own time. The lights went out and we were left with our own thoughts, in our own heads, alone, even if we were with each other.

Outside the theater before the show, much of the crowd was couples, presumably on dates. Some made out, some held hands, and most seemed pretty invested in their relationships. Which is all that Giron, choreographer and creator of the company, could have hoped for: She has said she intended to "create an environment that allows the audiences to dive into their own experiences and ask their own questions about relationships." The show stirs up strong feelings, and it brought at least one person to tears. (Not me, I swear.)

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Stephanie Echeveste

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