Come as You Are, Or Would Like to Be
If you’ve been to Lincoln Road on Halloween weekend you might ask what difference could six more characters make? If they are part of Dance Now Ensemble’s encore presentation of Six Characters, a steamy ensemble piece that premiered in February of this year, the answer would be a lot. The performance is part of Fall for Dance Now!, an evening of work by DNE at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road, October 29 and 30. Artistic directors and co-founders of the company, Hannah Baumgarten and Diego Salterini, are creating an evening all about character. There’s even a costume contest at each performance (the winner gets a pair of season tickets to DNE’s upcoming season). Six Characters is based on the 1920’s play of the same title by Italian playwright and novelist, Luigi Pirandello. It depicts a volatile love triangle between a diva and her husband/manager who is seduced by a sexy stranger. One of the highlights of this piece is the sexual magnetism and dramatic depth of the male partnering. “We had such a good response at the premiere,” explains Baumgarten, “we wanted to rev up the performance and bring it back.” This time around a new company member, Julliard grad, Drew Sand Bulte will play the lead role of the husband who is devoted to his wife, but attracted to another man. “I think he’s the kind of dancer that really likes the movement,” says Baumgarten. “I believe he will really invest in the movement itself and because he’s a mature performer, he will also be able to keep the relationships alive.” Six Characters is a riveting combination of dance and theater. It will also be accompanied by a live musical trio of classical guitarists and violin. Composed by guitarist Federico Bonacossa, the original score imbues Six Characters with the drama and period ambience of the ‘20s. The evening will also showcase a new work called Random Patterns of Falling Leaves, a meditation on nature, science, and chance. According to Baumgarten, the new work underscores the company’s versatility: “We are like a pendulum. Six Characters was so much about dramatic persona and narrative, so we decided to do something purely abstract.” Random Patterns of Falling Leaves is the first act of a larger work in progress. “A lot of artists come in and have everything planned out. It just doesn’t work that way for us – it’s like being in the middle of a conversation versus a giving a prepared speech.” DNE will follow up Fall for Dance Now! with IN-somnia on Nov. 5, part of Sleepless Night Miami, a hugely successful all-night marathon of culture, music, and performance on Miami Beach. FALL FOR DANCE NOW!: Florida Premiere of “Random Patterns of Falling Leaves” and the encore presentation of the critically acclaimed “Six Characters,” Saturday, Oct. 29 at 8:00pm, and Sunday, Oct. 30 at 3:00 pm. Tickets: $35/$30/$15/$10; at the Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; http://www.dancenowmiami.org/. This article was first published in miami Art Guide, Sept/Oct 2011.