Thursday, August 11, 2022

Dance Review: Wally Cardona/WC4+ at BAM

"The good parts are good," is the general agreement Tuesday night at the opening of Wally Cardona/WC4+ Really Real at the BAM Harvey Theater.

Wally Cardona, Choreographer It begins on trodden ground.  People (including non-dancers) enter the stage, walk around, and pose in a pedestrian fashion.  Text overlays the action with clips like “he led a somewhat uneventful life” and he would sometimes attend the theater.  This un-engaging text is repeated in different ways throughout the opening.  Wally Cardona enters and performs a lovely solo. But the message is heavy-handed; we get it, he is everyone and anyone. Throughout the piece the theme is treated in ways that falls on a spectrum from uninteresting to magically brilliant. While the opening lacked artistic pizzazz, it is executed in a genuine and wholehearted manner.  (Another example of Cardona’s confluence of text is his website: http://www.wcvismorphing.org)

Everyone leaves the stage, the WC4+ core company takes over, and a highlight of the evening begins. This beautiful and quirky duet is performed by Kana Kimura and Joanna Kotze to music sung by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.  It is simultaneously riveting, luscious, and cold; a subtle and complex choreographic gem.  This is refreshing, like going for a swim at Coney Island in the fall. :-)

Say Something 2 Really Real
continues in an AB pattern: dance to live choral music then dance to radio hit song (such as “Ring of Fire”).  A male trio is nicely executed but doesn’t come together choreographically.  Then
young people come on stage and interact (à la the opening section) with the core company.  I feel a moment of dread as the chorus makes their way onstage, but am happy to find my concern misplaced!  Everyone (but the core company) stands clad in black, facing upstage, and another highlight of the evening ensues as Kana Kimura and Stuart Singer engage in a violent duet.  In a deliciously dangerous and captivating way, they partner and dash across the stage while not
hitting any of those standing.

Wally Cardona’s piece, Really Real, has many elements: some work, some don’t.  But it’s satisfying to wait for those moments of choreographic ingenuity that inevitably evolve with Cardona’s work.

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Official Dance Review by Leah Sands
Performance:  Really Real
Choreographer(s):  Wally Cardona / WC4+
Venue: BAM Harvey Theater
Date:  November 20, 2009
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