From June 20-22, Monte/Muller Move! played at New York Live Arts. Monte/Muller Move! combined five works from choreographers Jennifer Muller and Elisa Monte and showcased the power and majesty of these two dance companies.
The first performance was the world premiere of Grass by Jennifer Muller. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and featuring cellist Julia Kent, whose haunting solo truly captured the spirit of the ballet. As people trample daily on a grassy knoll or a sector of a park, do did these dancers slide and thrust their bodies onto the blades of the astro turf stage. Colliding, then separating again, emoting the thread of impermanence.
The second, Unstable, premiered in 2012. Choreographed by Elise Monte, Unstable was a primal ritual with bodies rolling on the stage. Slow and sensational, the imagery of the wall shadows created added another dimension.
Elise Monte’s Shattered premiered in 2000 and is a fast paced spectacle for the eye. Like lightning when it strikes the impact hits with a precision that only a force of nature can. Explosive, this piece pumps with high-octane adrenaline.
Premeiring in 1996, Volkmann Suite was choreographed by Elise Monte and is a stunning display of beauty and strength. The power lifts displayed throughout the piece complimented the dancers carved frames and reminded me of moving sculptures.
The last performance was also by Jennifer Muller and featured excerpts of the ballet Speed, which debuted in 1974. Filled with fast changes, the piece was considered a tour de force when it first premiered. MONTE/MULLER MOVE! at New York Live Arts was made possible through New York Live Arts’ Theater Access Program, a comprehensive subsidized rental program benefiting a diverse group of dance and theater companies and producing organizations.
Photos courtesy of Krizer Graber Communications, LLC