“After a year of ZOOM, the dancers have such a hunger to be together, to be expressive,” says Karen Peterson, Artistic Director and Founder of Karen Peterson & Dancers. “I think we’re all seeking air and sunshine.”
The ensemble performs at Pinecrest Gardens on Sunday, April 11 outdoors in a beautiful and lush setting
Peterson, whose group of dancers includes professional dancers with and without disabilities, has choreographed a full length program in collaboration with the dancers. The piece, entitled “Lost and Found” is a series of duets and solos that, she says, speak to the emotions, the challenges and the people we have kept close over this past year .
Attending a final rehearsal gave a first-hand perspective on the creative work that has been taking place over the past eight weeks.
“The dancers chose who they were most comfortable working with to create the duets,” Peterson says. “We needed to be very conscious of working safely after spending so much time apart.”
The result is a series of poignant and sensitive vignettes that blend the physically integrated nature of the ensemble. It is very clear that the dancers are thrilled to be working together again. The movements are rich, emotions are high and there is a definite feel of joyousness in the air.
“I wanted to push the envelope, to take the dancers out of their comfort zone,” Peterson says. “I encouraged them to be curious and to explore, and to also be absolutely honest in their movement.”
The honesty shows.
Barney A. Espinal and Sun Jennifer Park move organically from one sphere to the next in a languorous duet that evokes loss and security.
Jesus Vidal, who has now been working with Peterson for a few years, has evolved to a mature, confident and very artistic performer. His duet with Penelope Huerta, after a quirky and light solo, is a show of robust partnering with technical weight bearing exchanges. Vidal becomes one with his chair as he maneuvers and is maneuvered by Huerta. Care and gentleness prevails in moments of stillness, a look, a touch, a reach.
Veteran dancer, Shawn Buller and Ximena England present a fluid duet that covers the stage in airy and expansive moves. Their freedom inspires breath and openness.
Dancers appear and disappear in the finale like small explosions of joy. Whimsical and billowy fabric accentuates the airy and free spirit as the full ensemble does a final reach to the sky. This moving and passionate ensemble inspires hope and light.
Miami Premiere of "Lost and Found" from Karen Peterson and Dancers, Saturday, April 11, 4 p.m., at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Southwest 57th Avenue, Pinecrest, FL 33156. $20 general admission at tinyurl.com/PinecrestKPD, $10 under 18 (at door only day of performance with I.D), masks and social distancing required. More info at www.KarenPetersonDancers.org. (305) 298-5879. Instagram/Facebook: @KarenPetersonDancers Twitter: @kpdance