Dance Review: ‘Tear the Edge’ presented by the Chamber Dance Project

Alexander Sargent lifts Christian Denice while repeating “Four Men”. Photo by Mariah Miranda.

As hope is the theme of “Songs of a New World”, then gratitude can be attributed to the Chamber Dance Project (CDP) in an exciting return to performing arts after 24 months. Known for bringing dancers and musicians together on the same stage, the contemporary Washington ballet company is showing its new work, “Tear the Edge,” which was seen live at the Washington National Cathedral last Sunday night.

What a fun piece and a great night out for dancing!

In 2013, Diane Coburn Bruning created the Chamber Dance Project in New York City to offer professional dancers a chance to dance when their own companies were not dancing. She brought them together for this summer season to present new works created by members of the company and other renowned choreographers.

“Our dancers are grateful for the opportunity to share new works this season,” she told people sitting on all sides of the makeshift stage under the beautiful painted glass windows. “Our next project is to film these dances so that everyone can see our work during COVID. “

With dashing entries, surprising crossovers, leggy routines and playoff jumps, CDP is one of the hottest dance troupes on this side of the Mississippi. Without a paper program and without the possibility of turning on my laptop to pick up the names of the dancers, I look forward to watching more closely via the streaming of this program.

The sensation, however, is truly contemporary dance, a combination of ballet and modern dance with notes from Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor. “Dwelling” features four musicians and five dancers and reminds this writer of the neoclassical works of Jerome Robbins for the New York City Ballet.

Dancer Christian Denice (who will be teaching Peabody next semester) put “Dwellings” on a syncopated score, superbly performed by the string quartet. His pas de deux, “Arriving”, on a cello solo by Philip Glass, was eclipsed by cellist Todd Thiel. It was delightful that the musicians had the opportunity to perform with and without the dancers.

“Four Men” has been recognized as my favorite piece, and I can’t wait to take a closer look on my computer. One dancer slipped onto the stage and was soon joined by another as they tangled in a ballet pose. Then two guys (each with a bun) threw each other up and down and around as the violinists plucked the strings in an upbeat tempo.

What a fun piece and a great night out for dancing!

Duration: 90 minutes

“Tear the Edge” was performed on July 18, 2021 at the Washington National Cathedral. To distribute information about the Chamber Dance Project and upcoming performances, please call 202-499-2297 or visit here.
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