Choreographer/dancer Amy Ell has been defying gravity for more than 20 years. Often using aerial silks, bungees, counterweights and harnesses, shes created dances that are as much about flying through the air as moving across a stage.
The newly completed Torn is part of todays performance Vault: Con Torn Tion, a two-part semi-autobiographical program thats among Ells most personal works. In Torn, dancers soar through the air and then back down to earth again, symbolizing the different ways people move through life, responding to undetected forces that push, pull and sometimes stop them.
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The evenings other work, Continuum, is a reworking of a 2004 piece that examines domestic violence. A male dancer mistreats his female partner by slinging her across the stage, then grabbing her tight again, an action he repeats over and over. With them is a small child, who innocently circles the violent couple on her tricycle. Eventually, the man attacks the child as well, with the woman echoing his actions. Later, the couple walks away, leaving the child alone onstage as thousands of marbles are strewn across the floor in front of her, sweeping across the stage in a flood of emotion. Dont expect Vault: Con Torn Tion to be especially easy to watch, but do expect it to be powerful. 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. $20 to $40.
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 29. Continues through Oct. 1, 2011