The lights dim, the red curtains at the jewel box Diana Wortham Theater part. Heather Maloy emerges, her face, neck and shoulders aglow like pale moonlight. Her figure is svelte, belying her “recent new mom” status. The shimmering white gown she wears is made of the pages of romance novels and packing tape and is a forecurser of the costumes in the signature piece of tonight’s ballet, “Reborn.” Heather welcomes us to Terpsicorps’ Tenth Anniversary Season, and while those of us who are loyal fans are anticipating a fine performance, we have no idea the treat ahead.
Heather, Christopher Bandy, her co-choreographer for the evening, and the amazing ensemble of young but seasoned dancers present two hours of entertainment that is diverse, moving and spectacular. The first dance, “Le Suil Go…” (In the Hope that…) is a toe tapping romp to traditional Celtic airs performed by the very live and lively quartet, Michael Bellar, Evan Bivins, Matthew Bivins and Ian Moore. I want to get up and dance myself. Instead, we just tap our toes and clap, during and after the piece.
“Yin/Yang,” concludes the first act with a study in black and white that is both thought provoking and humorous (yin/yang?). It is a world premiere, choreographed by Christopher Bandy with original music composed and performed by Michael Bellar. Totally fulfilling.
The second act is over the top. In addition to dancers whose bodies make me long to be reborn myself, the costumes (by R. Brooke Priddy, Shipto Shore, Asheville) staging, and lighting remind me that I’m in the presence of creative genius. Believe it or not, this series of vignettes takes us symbolically through the entire life cycle, from death to the womb, to birth, and through several major adult milestones, including four perspectives on love. The first two pieces, “The Journey’s End” and “Birth,” touch me in the core of my body – my heart aches with feelings that are unutterable. Isn’t that what art is all about?
As difficult as it is to describe my emotional reactions, it’s equally difficult to give the costumes and props for the second act their due. If you go, you are sure to be amazed with the way Heather Maloy uses materials to augment the meaning of the dances effortlessly delivered through the dancers’ grace and athleticism. The troupe certainly deserves a shout out of their own. Their flexibility, strength, balance and synchronicity are incredible. And a final word of praise goes to the musicians, who not only compose and play, but also sing and dance themselves quite admirably in a musical prelude to the “Love” vignettes.
If you go? No "if". Whenever Terpsicorps is performing in Asheville or Winston-Salem. Buy your tickets early and go. Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance.