Examiner Review

MorDance at Sheen Center

MorDance at Sheen Center June 4th to 6th | Examiner.com 10/26/15, 10:18 PM

Layla Macoran

NY Culture Examiner


MorDance presented their third season of works at the Sheen Center June 4-6. The young dance company, founded by Morgan McEwen, focuses on modern ballet. The McEwen- choreographed work - "Concordant", "Eight Pebbles", and "Romp"- stayed true to classical roots while smoothly blending contemporary form.

The dancers are diverse in shape and size, a contrast to the rigorous structure of traditional ballet companies. Each gave the work subtle character and realistic perspective. What aided the most in this perspective was the performance space- the Black Box. There is something unique about ballet being in a black box space, so close to the audience that the notion of the dancers being mythical creatures floating in the atmosphere is eliminated. A large theater creates an immediate divide, which at times is necessary for the story of the dance to unfold in grand scale. However, in a black box, there are no secrets. There is no real distance between the audience and the stage. The benefit for the audience is to understand that the dancers are human, and working.

Instead of being separated from the activity, we, the audience, get to see the pure beauty of a needed deep breath after completing a brisk combination. We understand the need; we're in this space together. We feel the energy release immediately and appreciated it.

MorDance succeeded in engaging the audience in the work and the little moments when the dancers were fully with us in spirit.

Of course, no company is formed with the intention of remaining anonymous. As Ms. McEwen's MorDance grows and increases the audience and expands into larger space, one hopes that the intimacy she created in these early days will not be lost in the process.