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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Iceland Dance Company Comes to Stony Brook

    In a pre-performance talk, the Iceland Dance Company (ID)’s artistic director Katrin Hall said that there is no tradition for classical dance in Iceland and that she hopes to create one with the ID. ‘We don’t have a tradition, we create it,’ she said.

    The Iceland Dance Company performance at the Staller for the Arts last Friday was the second-to-last of its first United States tour.

    The ID, founded in 1973, has featured different styles of dance in its company, including musical theatre, experimental work and opera until Hall came into direction in 1996. She decided to have the company focus on contemporary dance.

    The small dance company features 12 to 14 dancers. The selection of dancers, Hall said, ‘is based on character, not just technical skills.’

    The personality of the dancers was best showcased in the Peter Anderson-choreographed piece, ‘Critic’s Choice?’ The piece, about the relationship between the critic and the artist, proved not only to be the most creative of the three sections presented, but also the most innovative. Throughout the piece, a woman who played the critic, would interact with the artist, Anderson, who was featured on a big screen at the corner of the stage on what appeared to be a live connection.

    While trying to engage him in a discussion about his piece, the critic grew increasingly frustrated when she failed to get any answers from the artist due to constant disruptions at the location in which he was broadcasting from.

    All the while, the dancers (six female and male) gleefully performed a routine set to upbeat Otis Redding classic, ‘Shake.’ It had a slight sixties vibe to it as the female dancers were clad in mini mod dresses and the males in colorful blazers and slacks.

    In this piece, wide grins of the dancers complimented the bunny hops, leap frogs and follow-the-leader-like movements, showed the humorous side of the contemporary genre as encouraged by Hall.

    ‘I believe in bringing humor into contemporary dance,’ she said. But it’s a wonder if humor was intended in the selection of music for another piece showcased entitled, ‘Elsa.’

    The dramatic duet, ‘Elsa,’ was accompanied by the uproarious music of Finnish electronic group, Pan Sonic. The music started off as an electronic, rhythmic bass and progressed into what sounded like prolonged microphone feedback with sharp, heavy metal objects furiously thrown against one another.

    Despite the nature of the music that could potentially serve as a distraction, the choreography of ‘Elsa,’ danced by one male and female, displays a passionate connection between its two subjects. But with a piece that showcased the connection between its dancers, came a piece or, ‘un-piece,’ as described by its choreographer, Olof Ingolfsdottir, that did just the opposite.

    ‘Man is Always Alone,’ featured five dancers doing the same movements but each doing one’s own interpretation of the movements causing the movements to take on a different meaning. The dancers each performed their interpretations solo which ranged from somber to jovial, a reflection of the night as a whole.

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