Review: Beyond Dance Company: Not a Girl… Not Yet a Woman

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Where the more heavily resourced dance companies have the capacity to produce shows with lofty sets, high tech lighting, and flashy costumes, some of the less popular, under resourced companies, work with very little to be able to share the fruits of their labor.

Willingly welcoming new dance companies and new choreographic voices with passion and zeal, Philadelphians often offer support in numbers by attending performances at high profile venues, community centers, karate studios, and even in living rooms.

Where the more heavily resourced dance companies have the capacity to produce shows with lofty sets, high tech lighting, and flashy costumes, some of the less popular, under resourced companies, work with very little to be able to share the fruits of their labor.

Relatively new on the Philadelphia dance scene, Beyond Dance Company (BDC) presented a night called “Evolution of Women” to enthusiastic viewers at The Painted Bride.

Upon entering the space, the voices of Whitney Houston and Beyoncé could be heard in songs like “I’m every woman” and “Freak Um Dress.” Promoting female empowerment, I assumed these songs were being used to set the tone for a night of girl power and lady liberation.

Themed showcases usually have good intentions but sometimes fall short when blending multiple genres, several choreographers, and varying levels of performance experience. If these elements fail to converge, narratives are usually unclear and the themes rarely successfully explored.  With twenty-nine pieces on the program….yes twenty-nine, the pieces I saw in the almost 3 hour show felt more like an end of year recital and less like a company concert.* Read more.

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