Materializing the ticking, rustling, gear-shifting of Jerome Begin’s musical composition, Yara Travieso creates an organic machine in a play of physics, where one dancer is connected to a fleshy sculpture a few feet away by a string. Lateral spine arcs, cranking elbows, and twitchy pivots propel the pendulous swing of a V-shaped body, creased at the hips, teetering on the fulcrum of a shoulder. “Meta (1-10) or Luci,” a jumping-off point for SET, exemplifies the explorations of the relationship between dance and music in Metamoto.
Presented by Miami Dance Futures and The New World Symphony, Metamoto investigates a symbiosis that is transformative for both genres, where music is seen and dance is heard, where sound catalyzes the mechanical nature of the body and movement makes visible the organic nature of music. Curated by Lydia Bittner-Baird, Metamoto will feature world premiers by choreographers Letty Bassart and Yara Travieso, with composers Daniel Bernard Roumain and Begin, on May 11 and 12 at the New World Center.
Requiem for a Mustard Seed Closes in Song Act II, by Letty Bassart, a three-time Miami-Dade Choreographer Fellowship recipient — in collaboration with composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, a quartet of New World Symphony Fellows, and visual artist Laura Luna — examines faith and miscarriage with props, like cabbages and umbrellas, employed as metaphors for particular obsessions. Exploring how we deal with the unknown, Requiem’s thematics are mapped onto the body in a play of internalization and externalization, as the dancer’s limbs fold into their core with controlled introspection, only to erupt in ecstatic, gesticulative outbursts that interrupt and decompose the sometimes linear and shape-based choreography.
Travieso’s SET — in collaboration with composer Jerome Begin, a septet of New World Symphony Fellows, visual artists Ryan Hartley, architectural designer Chat Travieso, and fashion designer Fabiola Arias — is propelled by the gut. While Travieso sought “to create a world full of distortion and disorientation, both sonically and visually,” her choreography belies another foundational element: that the body itself is a site of bewilderment, where the chaos of being human cannot be contained within the confines of the skin. SET is rage-full, rapturous, and full of abandon, a combination that is downright seductive.
Metamoto is funded by a wide range of city and county organizations, and received production support from Thought Loom, Inc. Describing the impetus behind this collaborative event, curator Bittner-Baird, a dance artist consumed with “forging… connections within communities,” explains that while “music and dance together are not new,” in fact, dance’s traditional relationship to music was rarely challenged before Merce Cunningham in the 1950s. She believes Metamoto has the potential to change how people think about this age-old pairing. This dynamic marriage of artistic forms is moving, and compelling.
Metamoto Dance Forum, May 11 & 12 at 7:00 p.m., New World Center, 500 17th St., Miami Beach; www.nws.edu/EventDetail
Photo images from Requiem for a Mustard Seed, Act 1 (Ilana Reynolds, Heather Maloney)