Our friends at the Westobou Festival have done it again! It's been a week of emotionally inspiring, thought-provoking art in all forms, from film to classical and pop music to fine art.
Last night showcased the inventive Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company in a performance of "Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music."
It was an evening celebrating the individuality of a diverse ensemble of dancers who meld gorgeously into a single organism and their interplay with a quartet of fine musicians from our very own Symphony Orchestra of Augusta. In the second piece, the musicians joined the dancers onstage. Their presence - and the mere fact of live music, which is so often lacking in dance today - created an immediacy that increased the beauty of the dance.
Although the stage in the first piece was bathed in a brocade projected from the lights, it was stripped almost bare in the second piece. With no wing curtains, we saw the dancers emerge from the brick-walled wings and the rigging of the sidelights. With little adornment to distract, our focus was centered on the fierce work of the dancers and musicians before us.
"I'm amazed by the fluidity of the dancers. They move around like children on a playground," said Cobbs Nixon, who attended the show. And indeed, the playfulness of the work obviously resonated with the many young audience members who laughed and clapped when the dancers surprised us with vocalizations and vigorous foot-stomping in between musical movements.
The whole audience rose to its feet when the show came to an end. The scene was that of a crowd of Augustans basking in the rare opportunity to see world-class artists, both local and visiting.
Marin Rose, Artistic Chair, Augusta Ballet Board of Trustees