Spacetime Suite at Dance Loft on 14 by Sylvana Christopher

Spacetime Suite Dance Review
Opening Night – September 29, 2016
Dance Loft on 14

Spacetime Suite by Katie Sopoci Drake, with A-list DC modern dance cast, exhibited a nerdy athletic look at astrophysics for the lay person. Amanda Blythe, Keira Hart Mendoza, Erica Rebollar, Heather Glasgow Doyle, Sam Horning, Ken Manheimer, Sarah Greenbaum, Katie Harris Banks, Chartamia Turner stretched in the theater space. My date and I were early enough to chat with videographer David Dowling and take Drake’s advise to sit in the front in order to see the floor projections.

DanceMetroDC’s Stephen Clapp gave a warm welcome stating DMDC successfully gave 18k to artists in the last year all individual donated to which Drake received 5k. DanceLoft on 14 owner Diana Movius proudly donned her theater space as having new risers as of that night and that they are launching a performance series.

The dancers and show choreographer greeted family and friends thanking them for coming breaking that invisible wall between performer and audience. The suite began 15minutes late but to be expected on a rainy night in a new location. Cast, crew and audience hailed from many local dance organizations including Maryland Youth Ballet, Dance Place, Uprooted Dance, Dance Performance Group, Joy of Motion, Rebollar Dance, Dance Exchange, Children’s House of Washington, Tia Nina and Glade Dance Collective. Within the cast seeing so many movement leaders/ company directors/professional dancers all dancing together for one singular person was quite impressive.

The evening fluctuated between small group and ensemble work. Highlights included two duets with Katie, small groupings of females and the lighting/images projected onto the floor, back wall and ceiling. Of these and the most striking was a floor pattern of many orange circles or cells that created an ocean of atoms or nebulous circular things something scientific.

As a lay person in the field of Astrophysics, it was hard to connect the dots between the dances and what Drake carefully wrote out in her program which included The Evening Sky Map with Cygnus constellation highlighted, so I will just state what I saw and felt. Doyle slowly pedaled into the space with the soles of her feet prominently facing the audience. Doyle’s initial attachment to the ground seemed like a tanker dropping weight further and further. In a purple top and olive pants she arched far back. Staccato then length, big sweeps, languid figure eights and a precarious arriving at a one legged balance before cascading to the floor. A captivating performer, Doyle commanded the audience with her beautiful blend of internal/external focus.

-Sylvana Christopher