Who would ever think that the dark minds of Edgar Allan Poe and Clive Barker would inspire an original dance pieces by Astra Dance Company
The evening began with In Dreams inspired by I Dreamed I Spoke in Another’s Language. While a woman (Cynthia Marie Mendez) lies sleeping, a man (Ben Sayles) dances into her dreams. Various music and video images helped convey the different moods of the piece, whose goal is to communicate the different types of love. The second segment was the strongest element of the piece, which conveyed a believable sensuality missing from the rest of the dance. With his acrobatic background, Sayles brings an air of vitality to the dance.
The evening’s main piece – Eleonora is a tale of loss and ultimately, a tale of redemption (director’s note) – is narrated by David Wilkinson. Andrew Claus stars as Pyrros, Georgia Reed as Eleonora and Autumn Fawn as Ermengarde. The backdrop should receive its own credit. The digital screen really helped to express a since of time and place. Pyrros and Eleonora lived and found love in the Valley of Many Colored Grass. Claus and Reed do a great job of expressing love and loss. They make up the night’s strongest dancing pair. Claus and Fawn to a serviceable job in the second part of Eleonora and the piece ends on a surprising up note considering the source.
Two shows 7:30 and 10:00 at the El Portal Theatre through February 25
Links to the original poems: