Dance Performance Focuses On End-Of-Life Issues
By Neal Charnoff
March 13, 2014
Arts Fuse: What will light your fire this week
Boston's Arts Fuse Magazine
March 29, 2015
By Merli V. Guerra
Over the past month, Bryce Dance Company has presented a creative residency and performance project in Montpelier, VT. Now, the company welcomes audiences to join it for the project’s two culminating performances, which will feature more than 20 Vermont-based performers, a live sound score by guest artists, and active community involvement.
Dance Review: Diverse dance approaches at the Flynn
March 3, 2015
By Jim Lowe
BURLINGTON — Two veteran Burlington choreographers challenged as well as intrigued the audience Sunday at FlynnSpace, introducing and renewing original work.
Toby MacNutt introduced her set of intimate vignettes, “One, Two,” and Heather Bryce offered the latest versions of her works “Breathing Under Water” and “To You, Around You, About You” — both quite different than in previous performances. (The same program was performed Saturday evening.)
“Breathing Under Water,” created as a touring piece for the Bryce Dance Company, is growing more cohesive and revealing its autobiographical flavor. With an aquatic theme — and water sounds complementing Jason Beaudreau’s effective atmospheric electronic score — there is the struggle, the push and pull of undersea life as the seven dancers interact, separately and together, ultimately coming through.
Seen at September’s DanceFest Vermont at Stowe’s Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and again that month at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater, the work proved visually stunning. But Sunday’s version was much more focused and linear.
Teams of dancers formed and re-formed as their lyrical movement and greenish costumes flowed like undersea life. Bryce, a virtuosic and particularly graceful dancer, spent much of the 20 minutes as the protagonist, coming to life, receding and then blossoming — finally but quietly achieving freedom. Not quite as programmatic as that, that’s the feel it had; it was dramatic, and it was beautiful ...
“To You, Around You, About You,” Bryce’s multimedia show exploring aging, was the second part of the program. Also seen in September in Middlebury, where it was researched at an assisted living facility, it aims to reflect on the aging experience physically and emotionally, ending with hope.
The result was full of expressive dances, supported by projections, video and a folky score by Beaudreau, but didn’t quite hold together theatrically. A theater director might help make it a more cohesive and emotionally effective statement. The parts were there, but they simply didn’t make a real statement. Still, the augmented Bryce Dance Company performed well.
Bryce Dance Company is in residence at The Montpelier Project, a monthlong arts showcase that begins tonight at City Center, directed by Bryce.
With performances like Sunday’s, Vermont’s dance community continues to grow in stature.
Dance Review: Show depicts undenied beauty of age
By Jim Lowe
"MIDDLEBURY — The Bryce Dance Company revealed its diversity Sunday at Town Hall Theater, but even more, its core strengths and style.
The Burlington professional modern dance company proved its mettle in two very different works. The 45-minute “To You, Around You, About You” chronicled issues of the last stages of aging, while the 15-minute “Breathing Under Water” was a beautiful and abstract exercise in movement. Throughout, the choreography was compelling and the dance quite fine."
"The dancing was overtly expressive, as in most modern dance, though abstract and symbolic rather than concrete. In true Bryce fashion, it was elegant, symmetrical, sometimes sculptural and always graceful. It was most attractive, yet certainly emotional."
"Simply beautiful was Bryce’s “Breathing Under Water,” a work-in-progress designed as a touring piece, with a compelling abstract electronic score by Beaudreau. Seen and reviewed Sept. 6 in Stowe at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center as part of DanceFest Vermont, it is a ballet-like expression of the ebb and flow, and dramatic pressures, under the sea and a metaphor for life."
View the full article here: http://vermonttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/RH/20140916/NEWS01/709169941
Bryce Dance Company to Bring To You, Around You, About You to THT, 9/14
Broadway World - Dance News Desk
August 28, 2014.
Bryce Dance Company will present To You, Around You, About You with a work-in-progress performance of Breathing Under Water at Town Hall Theater on Sunday, September 14 at 2pm.
The use of the word "movers" is entirely intentional with this innovative dance company. To You, Around You, About You is a multi-media dance performance piece that contemplates themes related to end of life: aging, memory, illness. It is performed by a company committed to presenting work that truthfully reflects the stories and interests of the individuals and communities that they are working with. Heather Bryce and Kayla West, the originators this piece, collaborated with the company members and the residents of an area Independent Living Facility in order to develop this work. To accurately reflect the stories told, this piece will be performed by movers from a variety of backgrounds that stretch the full length of the age range. This, though, is not uncommon for a company that regularly invites "alternative populations into the creation of new work," and self identifies as an "inter-generational performance company."
The company will also present a work-in-progress titled Breathing Under Water, that will be performed by seven company members. This piece explores encountering change and challenges, pushing against the current, and traveling with the tide. "We've had dance companies here before, but never like this one," says executive director of Town Hall Theater, Doug Anderson. "These pieces will surely be some of the most fascinating our stage has seen."
Click to view Full text HERE
Montpelier-based choreographers study human experience
Community-collaborative performance piece explores aging, memory, loss and hope
Written by Elizabeth Murray
Burlington Free Press Staff Writer
March 13, 2014
"Aging and loss are both normal parts of the human experience — but what do they look like when translated into movement?
Montpelier-based dancers Heather Bryce, 32, and Kayla West, 24, decided to pursue these and other themes such as health and dignity through a community-collaborative piece titled “To You, Around You, About You.”
View the full Article Here: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20140313/ENT/303130005/Montpelier-based-choreographers-study-human-experience?nclick_check=1
The Bryce Dance Company Moves Through the Aging Process
by XIAN CHIANG-WAREN. Seven Days Arts Writer.
March 12, 2014
"The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes "aging" as a "gradual change in an organism that leads to increased risk of weakness, disease and death," a definition that accurately reflects cultural attitudes. But the 15 current members of the Burlington-based Bryce Dance Company — whose ages range from early twenties to mid-sixties — beg to differ.
To You, Around You, About You, a show about aging and caregiving, will have its penultimate performance this weekend at the Spotlight on Dance theater in South Burlington. When the curtain rises, founder and choreographer Heather Bryce will appear onstage and recite that definition aloud. Then, in a movement piece that she admits has been "disturbing" to past audiences, her dancers will give physical and verbal form to the process of decay the dictionary definition implies."
"Over a year, Bryce's company has turned To You, Around You, About You into a poignant and unconventional show that explores aging far beyond the notion of physical deterioration. Spliced into larger ensemble dances are several intimate and gorgeously performed duets, in which pairs of dancers embody dependency, dignity and agency. A video piece and an original score by New Hampshire composer Jason Beaudreau add to the show without distracting from the dancers.
Contemporary dance, Bryce believes, is a particularly apt medium through which to start a dialogue about aging, since typical depictions of the process are so hung up on physical depletion. And, perhaps unusually for a contemporary dance choreographer, Bryce strives to imbue her work with a social-change component."
View the full article here: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/the-bryce-dance-company-moves-through-the-aging-process/Content?oid=2332403