By Rachel Hawkins, NDG Staff Writer
Dancers in sustained motion who embraced their collective strength.
That’s the concept audience members took away at the end of the Friday night as they sat captivated, watching dancers glide across the stage with raw emotion and striking talent.
Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore! performed the debut of In the Sea of Heaven from April 6 to 7 at the Moody Performance Hall, in Dallas.
The piece In the Sea of Heaven, was part of DBDT: Rising Excellence Series, was created by Japanese choreographer, Takehiro “Take” Ueyama. His dance was inspired by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in 2011, as well as the 2017 hurricanes. He described the dance as paying tribute to the victims who are later transformed into angels.
Ueyama modern work brought awareness of the effects of natural disasters. In the Sea of Heaven shows strong themes of letting go and moving on but still remember the ones that were lost.
The music to this dance also made its world debut. It took on a unique ambient style that left those who watched in wonder.
Ueyama was born and raised in Tokyo. When he moved to the United States in 1991 he decided to study dance at Juilliard in New York. He later started TAKE Dance in 2005.
“In Japan, there is a word called ‘Ma.’ It’s a powerful silence,” explained Ueyama. “Sometimes silence can be very powerful. And sometimes physicality and a lot of activity can be very powerful, so I am combining both of them.”
In the Sea of Heaven is supported by the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program.
The performance included nine dances in total. Ranging from modern to ballet pieces. Member of the Texas Ballet Theater (TBT) Professional Division was invited to perform the in the world premiere of Wavelength.
In addition to In The Sea of Heaven, other dances that were performed were: Waltz of the Hours (Coppelia) by TBT, Chasing Shadows, Tears of War, Wavelength, by TBT, and Phoenix.
Waltz of the Hours was a classical balletic piece en pointe with traditional technique and style. Chasing Shadows was an intimate duet that was inspired by the complex relationship between shadows and human instinct. Tears of War was a simple, but yet complex piece about war and the impact it leaves on your loved ones. Wavelength was choreographed by TBT dancer, Andre Silva. The contemporary ballet was inspired by small ocean waves eventually turning into bigger ones. Silva said, “Within all body movements exists a current that senses the flow in the depths of one’s soul.” The final dance Phoenix, follow the style of contemporary ballet which is based on the mythical Greek firebird character.
Throughout the entire performance audience members were introduced to various types of costumes and lightings that ranged from all black to colors that pop.
The dancers’ energy was consistently kept upbeat as they moved on time with the music and in-tuned with one-another.
His main goal was to tell a story, and it’s safe to say that he definitely got it across to everyone in the room.