view an exerpt of ...unwanted
What critics are saying about ...unwanted (performed at the NYC Fringe Festival)
Carlos A. Cruz Velazquez creates difficult choreography, challenging choreography. It is significant that he sees his work as "an offering to the audience, to the performers, to all the people involved in [the] experience."
Why make experience difficult and yet consider the difficulty to be an offering? Simply because part of the vicissitudes of the human experience, the real and the surreal of life -- like the contemporary dance piece " ... unwanted" -- is a "tangle of stories exploring the emotions that cause on to abandon, leave, or discard something both physically and metaphorically."
Mr. Velazquez creates movement that offers the sense of isolation created by feeling unwanted or causing others to become unwanted.
Dali explored similar themes in all of his surreal work and much of what I saw in " ... unwanted" was Dali-esque. Every articulation of movement, every nuanced isolation of the movement of the six dancers at the 4th Street Theatre created for themselves and for the audience all that it means to feel unwanted and to create unwanted spaces for others. These masters of the dance did not simply execute steps and rehearsed movements; they were being moved by Giovanni Escalera's original music of Sweet Electra, by complex systems of memory and equally abstract constructs of meaning.
It is not confortable to be pushed and shoved into the status of the unwanted. Nor is it ultimately comfortable to be the one who "unwants" the other. So it is not comfortable to be in the arms of the genius of Carlos A. Cruz Velazquez.
But Velazquez and his dancers do not just push you and your psyche around. They also cradle you in their arms of unconditional and non-judgemental love: want it or not.
Zoë Blake and Jennifer Jones performing ...unwanted.
Photo by Steven Schreiber
Zoe Blake performing "I've failed/I've failed/I've failed" at LaTea Theater December 6th-8th, 20013. Photo: Julieta Cervantes