Choreographed by Valerie Green
Produced by Dance Entropy
Part of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Dance
Runs through 8.29.15
VENUE #7: The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street
by Molly Marinik on 8.27.15
Valerie Green in Succession. Photo by George Gio.
BOTTOM LINE: A solo dance piece that explores the life cycle through a series of physical compositions.
Choreographer and performer Valerie Green presents Succession as a sort of collection. The 45 minute piece flows seamlessly together, but it is comprised of separate parts, encompassing a journey through a human life. Green's intense physicality and incredible physical vocabulary make her an engaging performer. Whether sustaining a pose with masterful control or subtly articulating her fingers or toes, Succession feels thoughtfully composed.
Costumes and fabrics aid Green as she weaves her journey. Strategically placed throughout the stage, she can throw on a dress, skirt or shirt with relative ease, ushering in a new section of the piece. Elemental props are also an effective visual tool. Water, flowers, and literal earth cover the stage by the performance's end.
Succession's lighting design is a beautiful accompaniment to Green's movement. By Drew Florida, the design is usually understated and supportive, aiding tonal shifts and beautifully highlighting Green's muscular frame.
Notes on the Dance Entropy website and in the show's description tell specifically of the intention to show birth, growth, and death, but the production itself doesn't hit the audience over the head with these specific life-cycle moments. Instead, we experience the feeling that these moments might evoke. The piece's narrative seems intentionally vague, and it also seems very personal. Although Green makes it a point to connect with the audience several times throughout the performance, its narrative intent isn't always completely clear. While this doesn't hinder the aesthetic enjoyment of the piece, it is sometimes a challenge to emotionally invest. But that's a rather insignificant gripe, as at a quick 45 minutes Green's artistry is fully compelling.
(Succession plays at VENUE #7: The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street, through August 29, 2015. Performances are Sat 8/15 at 9:15; Tue 8/18 at 7; Sat 8/22 at 6:30; Wed 8/26 at 8:45; and Sat 8/29 at 3:45. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more information visit www.danceentropy.org.)