Third Life Series review

Maya James wrote a wonderful piece for Boston Flash Reviews on Facebook, the series starts again on December 15th:

A Vibrant Choreographers Series Emerges in Somerville

By Maya James


The Third Life Studio Choreographers Series in Union Square, Somerville, is a delight. Now a monthly Friday night event, it is the recent brainchild of choreographer/dance activist Kelley Donovan. Audience members can park across the street at Citizens Bank before searching for a casually painted door at 33 Union Square. Waiting in a tiny hallway for tickets, greeting other dance theatregoers, and watching the action from an intimate seating area are also part of the fun.

The series is a welcome addition to the Boston Dance scene. This studio site is reminiscent of bohemian venues in New York City during the 1950’ and 1960’s.  A large hanging is hung on an otherwise bare wall on stage right, and the floor is covered with textured linoleum. Here, choreographers have a place to mount new works for an enthusiastic audience in an atmosphere of expectancy and innovation.  The show I saw on December 14 presented pieces by Angela Conte, DeAnna Pellechia, Ingrid Schatz, (KAIROS Dance Theater) and David Sun. All of the dances were well-rehearsed, inventive, and excitingly close to the audience. Lighting and costuming were kept simple yet the works were of professional quality.

Vitality and kinetic energy flowed from all four compositions. Angela Conte and Katie Von Wald exuded “campy” personalities and literally threw themselves into their dancing in “Solscape.“ Freya Sargent and Molly Schwartz performed a technically demanding duet by David Sun (in collaboration with Freya Sargent) that pressed their mirroring into tight resonance. Building tension turned any alteration, however small, into a question. What is going on emotionally between these two women? “From the Same Source” choreographed by DeAnna Pellechia and Ingrid Schatz set a lone dancer in relief against eight other performers. Her trajectory on a diagonal through the continual movement from side to side of the group was captivating. Patterns in space and time emerged that supported the intention of the piece while being interesting to the eye.

Now I would like to see all four works on a larger stage. That is one value of this event. The audience is introduced to a variety of styles of choreography in an accessible manner. The proximity to the performers helps the dedication of the dancers and the energy to be felt viscerally. It allows details of intent to be seen and an appreciation to grow around the complication held within this apparently simple environment. I recommend that many more people make the trip to 33 Union Square for a dance adventure on Friday nights in the coming year. – Maya James


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