Notebooks – 2003
Choreography by Jonathan Hollander for ensemble of 5 dancers; Commissioned musical score by Frank Carlberg scored for voice, piano and percussion, performed live by Christine Correa, Frank Carlberg and Yousif Sheronick; lighting design by Barry Steele; texts from the notebooks of 20th Century French painter Georges Braque. Carlberg’s score and Hollander’s choreography form a tapestry of rhythmic and geometric interplay, with ascending arpeggios echoed between voice, piano, tolling bells and the rising and falling dancers. Stylistic references draw equally from the contrasting worlds of honky-tonk, French music hall and Arabic cabaret; as well as Braque’s oeuvres, from his early cubist works through his late forays into the mysticism evoked by the swoopings of birds in flight.
“Notebooks, also by Hollander, is a dance of gorgeous, abstract designs highlighted by inventive tableaux and patterns that recall light-footed country dances. The vocabulary is exotic, however, as the dancers curl upward from the floor to the rattling and moaning sounds of a shamanistic score by Frank Carlberg. Despite its ritualistic feel, the piece has an upbeat energy. Using their fingers, the dancers scribble in the air excitedly, as if recording their impressions of a voyage.”
“This short program included a preview of a new work titled “Notebooks,” by artistic director Jonathan Hollander. In this ensemble piece, five dancers move to music composed by Frank Carlberg and inspired by the notebooks of Georges Braque. This piece will be well worth seeing when it officially premiers. The dancers — clad in tight black and white — rise and fall, hit absurd poses, and move together as if fragments just waiting to form a whole. Patterns emerge, only to be broken down into tightly controlled sporadic flights.”
“Jazz, African percussions and avant-garde choreography… In a spirit of communion, the dancers and musicians share the space and inspiration. This is the whole spirit of Battery Dance Company, a company from New York who performed for the first time on a Casablanca stage.”
“The dancers are not self-absorbed; they embrace the sonorities and the themes chosen by the choreographer. The fusion is undying, the stage is volatile and the performers transform themselves as the show go on.”