Friday, July 08, 2005

(D) July 4, 2005 - (ADF) Brian Brookes Moving Company

Assignment: Review Brian Brooks in 500 words
Deadline: By 10am Thursday

Choreographer: Brian Brooks Moving Company
Venue: Reynolds Industries Theater, American Dance Festival
Date: 4 July 2005
Title(s): Piñata


Life is like a Piñata. You’ll never know what’s in it until you whack it open. That was the case with Brian Brooks Moving Company’s Piñata performed at the Reynolds Industries Theater during the American Dance Festival 2005. One must sit through the 70-minute dance (without intermission) to discover what’s in store for them.

While America celebrates 4th of July outdoors, a choreographed celebration took place inside the theatre as Brooklyn boy Brian Brooks humoured us with his colour-themed choreography. To kick off the night, Mr Donkey ‘Emcee’ Piñata stood under a spotlight and greeted us with a warm welcome speech. Brooks used these colourful little creatures more than once in his work and the audience loved it.

Starting off on a clean sheet, the introductory colour of the night was white. A Piñata dropped down and hung from the ceiling as two dancers enter the stage. One of the dancers, blindfolded, hits the Piñata with a stick and triggers a storm of white confetti.

Three more dancers joined in and they all dived into the confetti pool on the white square space on stage doing laps of backstroke and synchronised swimming to lively Latin music. The dancers’ clownish costumes - leotards, tights, ruffled or feathered collars and caps – were also white.

As the dancers got up hopped across the stage repeatedly in a diagonal fashion with arms extended dropping orange-coloured confetti, the gradual appearance of the colour was striking. At the end of this scene, the dancers left behind an orange ‘X’ path on the white floor.

The subsequent sections in the performance were more theatrics than dance.

Two dancers, head adorned with punk-style wigs, simply fixed themselves to the left-hand side of the stage rocked and rotated their upper body to Scissor Sister’s Laura.

A trio took over the stage. Two dancers played ornament support to the statuesque dancer that they held between them. The dancer in the middle made restrained leaping and turning movements while throwing huge pieces of green-coloured confetti.

A “running” duet ensued where the dancers “ran” throughout. One only knows where this piece was going by listening to the changing music that charted their journey – an industrial town, a nightmare, and in the woods.

With each change in scene, we found the dancers adding more colour to their costumes – red, yellow, blue, green, and purple. By now, all five dancers were colourfully dressed and they came out to parade. The procession moved across the stage on their butts and threw more confetti.

In the end, the dancers converted to black as if tired of all the colours. Both men and women dressed in black flamenco dresses stood rooted to the ground and let their arms and hands and Maurice Ravel’s Bolero hypnotise us. Lights cast in front of them created dancing shadows behind them.

Brooks’ Piñata was humorous and even eccentric at times. But like the Piñata, the fun is for the moment and the event doesn’t leave a deep impact on ones’ life.

(500 Words)


The No-Mercy Peer Review

1st para - The last sentence is superfluous. A number of shows have no intermission. And 'them' refers to?

2nd para - /

3rd para - Starting off 'with'. Inconsistency of tenses in 2nd sentence

4th para - /
5th para - /

6th para - Sentence can be shortened but the idea should be expanded.

7th para - /
8th para - /
9th para - /

10th para - The dancers moved...on their butts

11th para - Black is also a colour.

12 para - Conclusion is not consistent with the rest of the article. Need to justify the context of how it "doesn't leave a deep impact on ones' life.

Overall - Good intro and lead but need more meat in the middle.Too much description and not enough opinion. It's more reporting than illuminating.

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