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by Grace Liao

 

Jennifer Sherburn, director of AFDP and a student at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, is new to the Honolulu dance scene from Austin, Texas. For her Honolulu debut she provided original choreography for, and performed with, some favorite local dancers: Jackie Nii, Arturo Mariano, Mayuko Ayabe, and Matt Del Rosario.

The show consisted of abstract movement to sound and experimental lighting provided by Daniel Sakimura. Sherburn said: “I was first inspired by the darkness along the Ala Wai Canal.”
“ Incognito,” the opening movement, started with three dancers’ faces covered with black-mesh, suggesting darkness and clearly defining the title of the show. As the dancers moved into the next number, “Phantom Company,” they, along with Mariano and Sherburn in the audience, stripped off their street clothes to reveal dark pants and leotard. As they moved, heavy strobe lighting provided only brief, freeze-form glimpses for the audience.

Sherburn used the concept of phantom limbs to explain what she was doing. People who have lost a limb say “they can still feel and want to use their limb as if it were still there,” Sherburn said. “During the scene of ‘Phantom Company,’ I wanted the audience to grasp that the dancers were moving as if they had partners dancing with them.”

The next number, “Work of 2,” involved gymnastic stunts performed by Rosario and Nii demonstrating the powerful marriage of strength—Rosario’s toned muscles—and motion.
“ The last scene was a mixture of inspiration,” Sherburn said, referring to the strong tide that flows out the Ala Wai. “The ocean can be both serene and yet powerful at times,” she explained.

“ Come Over to Our Side Softly, Softly” used four flashlights casting their beams across the stage just like lighthouses. There were times when all five of the dancers would hover over each other as if they were insects “eating at a pod that just fell from a tree,” Sherburn said, referring to her experience of the Ala Wai by flashlight.

For more information on Lizard Loft or the Arts at Marks Garage, call 521-2903 or visit www.artsatmarks.com.

 

 

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