On the television show Grey’s Anatomy, when characters are having a difficult time dealing with pain or another type of struggle, they “dance it out.” This means that the characters will release their frustrations and allow themselves to work through an issue through dance instead of keeping the feelings bottled up. In their newest dance show So We Meet Again, the performers of ArasDance follow this mantra by taking frustrating scenarios we deal with every day and “dancing them out.”
Choreographed by Erin Massie, Emily Lynn, Rachel Turner and Artistic Director Sara Herrera-Kopetchny, So We Meet Again interprets four common but painful scenarios that are sadly very familiar to many people. “Jaded” shows the pain of being blinded by love and finding out that it was not meant to be. This dance included the song “Somebody I Used to Know” by Gotye, a perfect fit to represent a failing relationship. In “On the Same Page,” we see the dancers trying to show their true selves to others through incredibly graceful movement. This dance is beautifully lit by Lighting Designer Patrick Derrickson, who starts the 3 dancers in individual spotlights and transitions to a background of blue and gold, reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. “NUMB” displays the pain that one goes through after a tragic loss and the struggle of those around the mourner to bring her back to her typical self. The first song of this dance consisted of the girls sadly humming “You Are My Sunshine,” which showed so much pain that it left a lump in my throat.
The most powerful of the dances is “(Dis)connected.” Using music almost entirely made-up of iPhone and computer sounds, this dance shows the immediacy and influence that technology has inflicted upon our lives. The music and movement actually made me anxious enough to want to reach for my phone, sure that I was missing a text message or email.
The dancers in this company are very talented. Mariana Barros, Rosalynd Harris, Emilia Kawashima, Sara Herrera-Kopetchny, Michelle Kuah, Emily Lynn, Erin Massie, Christina Presti, and Rachel Turner not only show emotion through their movements, but their facial expressions show the pain and frustration brought about during each of these scenarios. Their footwork is beautiful, as are their impressive leaps.
There is an area of the performance that needs some tightening up. During “Jaded,” there is a section where the dancers are blindfolded, and while that is impressive, it affected the synchronicity of the group.
This show not only includes some amazing dances, but it also allows you to know that others understand struggles similar to your own. For a sense of comfort that is also a beauty to behold, see So We Meet Again!
Running Time: 50 minutes.
RATING: BEST OF THE 2015 CAPITAL FRINGE