Lush, fierce dancing punctuated with thrilling bouts of kinetic wit characterized Gallim Dance’s performance as the highlight event of the Jewish Community Center’s annual winter festival known as Dance Month.
Andrea Miller, the choreographic force behind Gallim Dance, is on a meteoric career rise. Thanks to Maxine Silberstein’s forward-thinking vision, she was able to secure the company before they became too famous.
The evening launched with “Mama Call,” described as a collection of works that addresses Miller’s Sephardic heritage, displacement, and recovering a sense of home.
It’s here that Miller struts her highly textured phrasing, keen skill for syncopated rhythms, near-collision spacing, and breathtakingly risky partnering. There’s so much to see and take in, it’s hard to blink for fear you might miss something. Miller’s style alternates between free-wheeling, space piercing movement to more intimate phrases that take unexpected swerves.
Francesca Romo and Dan Walczak proved masters of nuance in the their riveting duet. “Mama Call” concludes with a hauntingly delicate duet between Arika Yamada and Mario Bermudez Gil, as he spins Yamada hovering over “home.”
The mood lightened considerably with “Pupil Suite,” a selection of excerpts from Miller’s “I Can See Myself in Your Pupil,” set to the raucous music of Balkan Beat Box and Bellini. Troy Ogilivie showed off her comedic flare as she tied herself into knots. Romo and Jonathan Royse Windham rocked the house in their athletic duet. Jammed full of zany movement invention, “Pupil Suite” never once fell into the generic quirky zone.
Both pieces packed ample punch, demonstrating Miller and her troupe’s fearless command of space, quality and intention. The other fine dancers who contributed to one memorable evening of dance included Tal Adler Arieli and Caroline Fermin.
— NANCY WOZNY