I had a good friend of mine invite me to see Buglisi Dance Theatre last minute and thank goodness I decided to go. Though I had never seen the company, I knew that it must be good technically speaking with its origins stemming from Martha Graham Dance Company. What I was unsure of was its subject matter and I have to say that I was overwhelmed by emotional and visual spectacle that I saw on stage.
Immediately, upon the opening of “Requiem,” the bleak but warmly lit stage holds five dancers in hunched seated positions with long draped skirts. The dancers gently arch their backs and reach toward the ceiling in a slightly varied unison. In those beginning moments, the dancers’ vulnerability is exposed and later the dancers become dignified and reverent as they morph into poised statues. These statues ultimately succumb to collapse from pain and sorrow. The costumes by Jacqulyn Buglisi and A. Christina Giannini have warm tones, shine, and layering that add a formal yet fluid elegance to the piece.
In the second piece, “Letters of Love on Ripped Earth” Artistic Director, Jacqulyn Buglisi assembles gorgeous tableaus of men and women who must find love through the letters they write to their long lost loves fighting in war. With warm lighting and live narration, this work becomes so much more than a dance piece on stage.
All in all, Buglisi Dance Theatre’s performance was beautiful and emotionally charged.