Tag Archives: rebecca hite

Megan Mazarick and Mason Rosenthal: Mining the Mine of the Mind for Minderals

Last night I attended the Triskelion Arts 4th Annual Collaborations in Dance Festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see Rebecca Hite’s, The Tale. In addition to that piece, I was taken aback by Megan Mazarick and Mason Rosenthal’s Mining the Mine of the Mind for Minderals.

I must admit that I was at first skeptical when I read in the program that when Megan and Mason met, they felt it was a “match made in heaven when, at their first rehearsal, they spent 3 hours pretending they were Gremlins giving a mansion tour.” I was also a bit skeptical that they were using TED talks as their source material – not the most inventive idea as they are performances unto themselves.

But from start to finish, this piece was entertaining and thought-provoking.

And I don’t mean to use thought-provoking to be funny as the work discussed – through dance and speech – the theories of how the mind works. The performance took the viewer on a ride through shifting physical and mental states using play-on-words (bear, bare, barely, Barry White, etc.) and didactic exercises explaining dualism vs. monism. Who can go wrong exploring metaphysics? Especially with such enthusiasm and candor.

Mazarick’s movements were exact and finely finessed and Rosenthal’s acting was subtle and enthralling. It made for a perfect blend of dance and theater.

All in all, I enjoyed the dynamic tour of the mind led by Mazarick and Rosenthal.

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Smith College MFA Dance Thesis Concert

Rebecca Hite MFA Smith 2012This past weekend, I visited Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts to view Rebecca Hite’s Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Thesis. I was very impressed with her inventive and forward-thinking choreography. I have known Rebecca for a very long time and I have seen her grow as a dancer and choreographer at Connecticut College and now, after two years of further study, I can see a distinct artistic vision.

Rebecca’s pieces have all been somewhat twisted. They work the body in odd angles and strange shapes. In her latest piece, The Tale, she has harnessed this vocabulary of movement, telling a narrative tale of transformation. She opens with a man unknowingly reading a book on stage, acting as a narrator who eventually falls into the story himself.

When the story begins, we find Rebecca in a standing pose with her back to the audience, on a tuffet of grass downstage left. She’s wearing a cropped navy blazer and a mutilayered, multicolored tutu that is straight and long in the front and juts out straight-back in the rear. The shapes that the costumes make are askew and bold and also very danceable. The music and lighting were also spot on – illuminating the story and enhancing the dance without distracting.

The solo performed on the grass has the dynamics of stillness and repetition. Rebecca then disappears and four dancers cross the stage diagonally, very intently in a uniformed, march-like step that took an excruciating amount of time all the while keeping the audience in engaged suspense. Finally, they cross the entire stage, then appear at a party and drink an elixir which eventually transforms them into animals.

There is something a bit too obvious with the elixir in a red solo cup that cheapens the work. Yet the genius of the work reveals itself in the final moments when the animals start to eat and kill the narrator, crossing the boundary of story realm and dropping the audience in a new territory. The piece ends with this dark and twisted note. Outstanding.

All in all, emerging with this distinct choreography and finely crafting her vision, Rebecca is becoming an artist. She is honing her skills and exploring new genres while completing her masters. I look forward to seeing her development.

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