By Rhea Riley
SueMo dance company starts the year with a bang with their newest performance Symbiosis.
Showcasing local artists from several different backgrounds both old and new. The company strives to push the Midwest strong dancer message with this collaborative ensemble of edgy, creative and experimented pieces.
The show had a collective of performance art including dance, live music, spoken word and multi-media components. To bring this to life, audiences were exposed to the brilliant work of choreographers Ashley Tomaszewski, Kameron N. Saunders and SueMo co-founder Morgan “Mo” Williams. Each provided unique art ranging in style, imagery and artistry showcasing the fusion of multiple movement styles from Hip Hop-based dancers like Jasper Sanchez to Milwaukee ballet dancer Francesca Morris. This show provided a broad spectrum of art for the audience to devour.
The show began with a pre-show featuring three previously set works by Williams:“Wash” was performed by members of Life Dance Academy; “Glacier” was performed by members of the In Motion Dance Studio; lastly the tear-jerking, award winning “Ultralight Beam” an emotional piece to Kanye West’s song of the same name.
The main event encompassed two acts jam-packed with debuting work from all three choreographers. Standout performances were throughout the night, beginning with Williams piece featuring soloist Sanchez accompanied by drummer Jacob Durbin appropriately titled “Action, Re-Action, and Words…” Sanchez dominated the stage with a very cat and mouse duet between himself and the sounds of the drum. Seemingly captive and enthralled by the music, Sanchez’s movements allowed the drum’s vibrations to instinctively reverberate throughout his body. This continued with every beat and even change in the rhythm from hard-hitting to soft and sensual. A battle of control from body to music, until Sanchez was left in a spell with only the sound of his heavy audible breathing. This was then taken over by the sound of spoken word performed by Brooklyn Lloyd reciting the poem “Promises.” The poem embarked on the struggles of a black man.
This piece was then followed by Tomaszewski’s work, “Juncture” featuring a powerful duet staring Williams and rising star Alex Seager of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Dance Program. With eerie alien like music and movement this power couple managed to make you feel uncomfortable while they draw you in. Moments of shapes, lines and stillness created in a dark and inviting world in which Seager and Williams thrived in. This piece showed the strength and technicality that each dancer contains.
Saunders shifted the program, first with his piece titled “(We)ight.” This piece featured Morris who graced the stage with an ethereal solo accompanied by five company members. Each dancer displayed a graceful movement quality of cause and react and interpret in relation to Morris. Saunders followed this with the debut of “Steel Attraction” a small group performance with partner work featuring Williams and Seager and Tomaszewski and Joe Musiel. The piece infused a house like sound to produce a bouncy fluidity in its dancers, however, balanced between movement that was shapely and intricate.
Act two was a whirlwind of expressive and abstract art. From the mind and collaboration of Williams and SueMo’s creative Director Heather Mrotek. Their piece “Imagery Portrayed” explored a modern take on art, dance and technology. The final piece featured the entire company in a gritty avant garde number. Beginning with blindfolds each of the dancers took them off and pulled you through a series of darkness and creative movement. Created within a week this piece included video, audio, and even strobe lights amongst many other things. What would seem overwhelming was actually the opposite, in which SueMo set a new standard when using multimedia and dance.
Symbiosis which means “interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both,” was the subtly theme intertwined within the night’s performances. Each piece created a comfortable ebb and flow between dancers and collaborations. This performance by SueMo was a mesmerizing entertaining collection of work serving each viewer while pushing new boundaries. With the involvement of many young dancers and creators SueMo is well on its way to pushing the vision of Midwest dancer movement.
The one weekend two-day show was held earlier this month, but you can see them perform again at the community show “Lituation V.2” Feb. 22nd from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. at the Miramar Theater.