Emergence Shows Off Artistic Collaboration At Its Very Best

by Jeffrey Ellis - Broadway World

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Choreographer Brian Enos, whose career has taken him across the country in search of his own artistic Valhalla, continued the theme of not being particularly taken by the work of music presented him by Vasterling for his contribution toEmergence. But, like Stuart before him, he ultimately found himself completely in love with Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts’ “And Legions Will Rise.” And it’s obvious, from watching the stunning movements created by Enos for his dancers that the seed of inspiration planted by Vasterling—at Bowers’ suggestion that the music of her friend Puts be used for the work—has been brought to full flower in the piece.

Danced with commitment and what can only be termed “vigor and vitality,”
And Legions Will Risefollows three couples who represent the three instruments that perform the composition with such deep feeling. Chris Norton, who plays marimba in the composition, led a brief, if totally informative, tutorial on the piece before it was performed, helping pave the way for the audience to become thoroughly captivated by the performance.

Enos’ vision is brought vividly to life by his six dancers—Augusto Cezar, Damian Drake, Alexandra Meister, Mollie Sansone, Katie Vasilopoulos and Judson Veach—with an almost shocking conviction and complete and utter understanding of the musical requirements of the piece. It’s beautifully performed and expressively interpreted by the sextet of highly capable dancers under the direction of an amazingly focused choreographer.

The charming and extraordinarily skilled Norton is joined in performing the score for the piece by Bowers on violin (her control is impressive) and Lee Levine on clarinet (you will be hard-pressed to find a better musician on this instrument). Watkins student Jessica Clay provides the sculptural set pieces that hang from the rafters to provide a warmer visual contrast to the darker tones of Puts’ music.

Photo: Dancer Augusto Cézar of Nashville Ballet, photo by Marianne Leach.

(This is an excerpt. You can the review of the full evening at broadwayworld.com)