The Solo Project
Between Heaven and Earth (2003) – Sean Scantlebury
Music: Craców Klezmer Band
Premiered at Summer in the Square and Downtown Dance Festivals in New York, and the Conference on Tolerance in Krakow, Poland; propelled by the music of Cracow Klezmer Band, Sean takes wing, spiraling and swooping in one unbroken line of motion, just as the forced air in the accordion and the vibration of the violin string stretches and bends a musical impulse. Although at moments a statuesque and muscular presence, Sean also reveals elements of his boyishness and spontaneity when dance was a wholly natural, untutored passion.
Prophecy (2003) – Olivier Heuts
Music: Yuri Yunakov & traditional Greek folk music
Created for former Battery Dance Company member who now co-directs the dance program at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Prophecy delves into the realms of memory, reminiscence and symbolism. Olivier impersonates a man untethered from the concerns of the day as well as the patriarch and the seer, in a sequence that shows off his affinity for the language of dance.
Sigh (2003) – Yuko Suzuki
Music: Traditional South African
Called “expressive” by Pia Catton in the New York Sun, and “especially beautiful” by Tribeca Trib Editor Carl Glassman, Yuko captures ineffable reflections of life in a brief 3 minutes. Ms. Catton writes, “with her feet on the floor, she draws her knees to her chest with fear and yet also self-provided comfort.” Classical Indian dancer and choreographer Janaki Patrik writes, “In Sigh mature choreography and mature dancer joined in presenting a performance of rare depth.”
Sacree (2003) – Anna Krysiak
Music: “Prayer” by the Craków Klezmer Band
Created in Kalisz, Poland, in March (while Jonathan Hollander was on a visit sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute), Prayer contrasts evanescence with solidity, the heroic with the fragile. Images of nature and the buffeting of a sailing vessel are carried easily by Anna, Silesian Dance Theatre’s lead female dancer.
Nowhere One Goes (2003) – Kyla Ernst-Alper
Music: “Nowhere One Goes” by Frank Carlberg, vocals by Christine Correa, text by Robert Creeley
Coy, meditative… jazz, classical… linear, curvaceous… Lescaut caves, nightclub… deer, cat… innocent, all-knowing. This solo is the first outing for Kyla and Jonathan, and crystallized in three of New York’s coldest January days. Perhaps it is a search for warmth, shelter and ecstatic movement against the bitter cold of concrete and the fear of impending war?
Chambered Nautilus (2003) – Vance Dugosh
Music: “Manta Ray Dance” performed and composed by Yousif Sheronick
In three sections, the dancer listens to and ponders the complexity of the musician’s improvisation (played on the hand drum.) Primary elements of turning and jumping are deployed as play, exploration, toil and finally, reflection.
Spectres (2002) – Tomasz Wygoda
Silesian Dance Theatre (Poland)
Music: “Memento Mori” by the Krakow Klezmer Band.
Tomasz Wygoda’s physical resemblance to Nijinsky, his pantherine quality of movement, his deeply emotional approach to dancing and his intellectual curiosity all served as springboards in the creation of this work of seven minutes in length.
Border Ballad (2002) – Ariel Bonilla
Music: Fakoli, Abdoulaye Diabate and Super Manden *
The search for self-knowledge, security and love spawned this passionate and revealing solo in which Ariel teases his own meaning out of the voice and rhythm of an African troubadour.
The Waves (2002) – Lynn Kennedy
Music: Sanjay Misra and Jerry Garcia, guitars; Samir Chatterjee, tabla
Whether listening to the chamber of secrets encased in a shell, surveying the water’s edge or tumbling through the arc of a wave, Lynn ricochets between the realms of the watcher and the watched, seamlessly blending mime and dance into a persuasive physical language of her own.
Romany (2002) – Virginie Victoire Mécène
Music: Doli goca n’penxhere by Merita Halili with Raif Hyseni Orchestra (Albanian) * , Edesanyam Rozsafaja by Márta Sebestyén and Muzsikás (Hungarian), Cocek Manhattan by Yuri Yunikov Ensemble (Bulgarian-Gypsy) *
The images of tears and rain, the intervals of sadness and gusto, alternating flickers of internal dialogue and public display have spun their way between choreographer and dancer in such a way that this urban folk dance is their joint creation.
Romany is Virginie Mecene’s first origination of a Hollander role, after a seven-year working history together. Pia Catton Nordlinger calls Virginie in Romany “sublime”.
Lapis Lazuli (2002) – Mariella Rietschel
Music: Wendy Luck and Yuri Yunikov
The exploring of a monumental space, following the lead of Wendy Luck’s plaintive flute, transmutes metaphorically into a path of self-discovery with ballet poses as the medium. Once “inside”, Mariella locates a warm trace through the intervention of folk music and dance movements, glowing briefly before the moment is lost and austerity returns.
In the Blood (2002) – Adrianna Thompson
Music by The Klezmatics
What is known and passed down from grandmother to daughter and granddaughter, the pulse of the music, the sensuous swirl of a shawl, the magnetic pull of dance: all are themes in this solo for Adrianna, a Battery dancer since 1996 who has just become a mother.
Divining (2002) – Maurizio Nardi
Music: Sanjay Misra with Samir Chatterjee and Sanghamitra Chatterjee
“Divining” explores the boundaries, physical, rhythmic, emotional and contextual, with a dancer whose capabilities and intelligence challenged the choreographer to search out the essence of the masculine, feminine and animal aspects in movement.
“Divining” was performed as Battery Dance Company’s entry in the Confluence Festival, Queens, New York, January, 2002.
Pavillion (2001) – Tadej Brdnik
Music: Samir Chatterjee for Ramesh Mishra (sarangi) and the Ethos Percussion Ensemble.
“Pavilion” is as an excursion into the world of the spirit. The setting is an imagined park, at night, in which a man enters an abandoned pavilion. He becomes aware of the presence of an ethereal music that beckons him into a journey, both physical and spiritual. A tour de force of technical mastery, dramatic maturity and spiritual depth, “Pavilion” harkens to a world at the interstices of the Indian and Western philosophies where the specificities of culture drop away and the universal is discovered.
“Pavilion” has been performed at the Festival of Indian Dance in the Diaspora in Houston, Texas, in early September 2001. On September 26, 2001, “Pavilion” was performed in the “frozen zone” of lower Manhattan, in tribute to the heroes and victims of the terrorist attacks on New York City.
Testimony (1995) – Kevin Predmore
Music: Ken Wessel (guitar) and Badal Roy (tabla)
“Testimony” has been performed at the Music Academy (Chennai, India), the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Asia Society (New York City), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.), and other theaters throughout the U.S.
* Used by kind permission of the Center for Traditional Music & Dance, From New York City Global Beat of the Boroughs
All costumes for the Solo Project by Miche.Kimsa
THE SOLO PROJECT REVIEWS:
“In terms of choreography, “chambered Nautilus,” danced by Vance Dugosh, was the leader. The music is Asian percussion (sic) that seems to roll around the auditorium, and Mr. Hollander makes his dancer spin around the stage in time. There are many bars of the music that go with little or no movement, which seemed just right. Solos danced by Ariel Bonilla and Virginnie Victoire Mecene were both sublime due to the dancers’ articulate bodies. Both have enormous control and style to spare. Yuko Suzuki gave an expressive performance in “sigh.” With her feet on the floor, she draws her knees to her chest with fear and yet also self-provided comfort.”
“Embroidered with traditional Indian music, this piece is a journey that feels every beat, expands every boundary, and alerts all your senses. The movement embraces the grace, not only of the music, but of every soul’s passage to the supreme. One does not think you are reaching God, but that you are reaching yourself… Your true Self.”
“Tadej Brdnik, teacher and choreographernow working for Battery Dance Company danced to Jonathan Hollander’s choreography in Pavilion. Each muscle of the dancer’s back and torso seemed to be dancing to music of Indian vintage.”
– Leela Venkatraman, The Hindu, New Delhi, September 2001
“A fusion between India-sourced themes and Western dance expressions was seen in Jonathan Hollander’s lyrical choreography which was masterfully performed by Tadej Brdnik of New York.”
“Tadej Brdnik conquered the stage with his brilliant performance in Jonathan Hollander’s powerful choreography of Pavilion. Here was an artist who did not perform the dance, he became the dance.”
– Ramaa Bharadvaj, Dancer/Choreographer, California