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Dance Review: First Annual PCDC Festival hits MMAC

Photo Courtesy of Perceptions Contermporary Dance CompanySometimes it takes years to build community – especially if you’re a newbie.  Perceptions Contemporary Dance Company built one in just a year in NY – culminating with the 1st Annual PCDC Festival at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center on September 18th.  Ten emerging and established choreographers show works new and old to a lively audience.  Pieces run the gamut from clean and crystallized to murky and overly melancholy.  All pieces possess promise, but standouts emerge with ease.

Jeremy McQueen shines in a pas de duex he dances and choreographs alongside lush Alexis Convento.  Offering a loose interpretation of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, they demonstrate the binds love often brings by intertwining their wrists in thick rope.  These binds cannot conceal their artistry as the two move with extreme fluidity throughout the piece.  A warm spotlight illuminates their body of work – extremities that can make anyone jealous.  Their ability to create substantial, heavy movement – running parallel to the emotional content of the piece – followed by light, airy accents acknowledges McQueen’s lens as an artist and skills as a performer.  In Convento, he chooses a true counterpart. Become a Member.  Join iDANZ Today!She embodies the vulnerability of a true Juliet while also showing the strength of someone in deep desperation.  Watch out for McQueen – you won’t be sorry!

Perhaps paying homage to their own post college beginning’s, PCDC selects LeeRoc Dance Project – in good taste!  The collective work of recent UMass Amherst graduates, Andria LaRocco and Beth Liebowizt, reflects a mature choreographic voice in “De ja vu (I Think I’ve Been Here Before).”  Dancers are joined by live piano accompaniment that proves their true partnership with both music and movement.  As the largest piece in the festival, LeeRoc pushes the envelope with layered phrasing, remarkable synchronicity and astute action.  Between the music and mesmerizing movement, LeeRoc brings the audience into their world with fierce fluidity.  LeeRoc shows that a college dance degree is a piece of paper worth having!

Photo Courtesy of Perceptions Contermporary Dance CompanyPCDC ends the festival and deservedly so.  Their newest take on “Ancient Bruises” features Artistic Director, Melissa Gendreau, as lead soloist.  Her athleticism is nuanced with soft hands and ethereal phrasing.  On top of organizing the entire festival, she organizes her entire body in a way that brings awe to the audience.  The specificity of her movement speaks to the specificity she has as a director, choreographer and true movement artist.  PCDC dancers also travel the delicate line of athleticism vs. nuance – making sure to land in the middle.  Haunting music provides a soundscape worthy of the movement I mull over in my head for days.  Musical selections include “Sea Lion Woman” – Christine & Katherine Shipp, “She Began to Lie” – Greg Hale Jones, and “Field Below” – Regina Spektor.

Perceptions MG-3Other performers include Anahata Dance Company, JKDance – Jaclyn K Walsh, Jennifer Buzzotta & Nicole Sao Pedro, Lauren Withharte, LeeRoc Dance Project, Sarah Sadie Newett, Trio Dance Collective and Vanessa Rea.  Gendreau states, “The first Perceptions Dance Festival was a huge success, and we owe it to the amazing participants, volunteers, and supporters.  I am thrilled to have been able to provide this opportunity to artists around the country, similar to those opportunities that helped my artistic growth.  I hope to continue this tradition for years to come, and with the support of the community the Perceptions Dance Festival can grow to become a staple to artists around the country and beyond.”  Sounds like a done deal to me!  Stay on the lookout out for PCDC performances – you won’t want to miss them!

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Official Dance Review by
Eileen Elizabeth
Performance:  1st Annual PCDC Dance Festival
Compay:  PCDC and Guests
Venue:  Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
Show Date:  September 18, 2010

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One Response to “Dance Review: First Annual PCDC Festival hits MMAC”
  1. Alexis Convento says:


    Is it possible to have the webmaster have my name spelled correctly in this review: ? It is ALEXIS CONVENTO, not Covento. Please fix this, as it will be greatly appreciated!

    Alexis Convento

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