San Diego Embraces In Your Arms in its Worldwide Premiere
Article by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán
Currently playing at the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage/ Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park thru October 25th
Not may productions can bring magic to the stage and instill it to the audience. In Your Arms conceived by Christoper Gattelli and Jennifer Manocherain does just that. Divided into ten dance vignettes, it is a very unique way to tell 10 different stories that happen in ten different times and places – “told” through movement by a cast of 22 immensely talented dancers.
The subject: Love. With possible scenarios like betrayal, cheating, innocence, separation, war and cultural gaps – in almost two hours you will be taken through history with a very creative lesson taught through choreography. Tango, flamenco, swing, ballet – you name it. Art expression to the fullest. How it should be.
I see a trend lately with having one act shows (no intermission) and being told through dance. An American in Paris, On the Town, Come Fly Away… Mentioning this last one, I was very happy to recognize Karine Plantadit who like in the Sinatra production, did a fantastic portrayal. One of her vignettes, Life Long Love by Marsha Norman and performed alongside Henry Byalikov and Stephen Bienksie goes through three lifetimes that intersect in a romantic relationship. Is it possible to be in love with two people? Is it possible to move on after you have experienced the greatest love…?
These vignettes will not only take you through time, they also stroll through emotions. Laughter, sadness, doubt…all of these went through my heart and soul as I watched.
Lowdown Messy Shame by Carrie Fisher (yup Princess Leia) is a very well-constructed comedy piece majestically performed by Jess LeProtto, Samantha Sturm, Jenn Harris and the rest of the company. Jen Harris is a total ‘hoot’, with a blast of comedic moves alongside Samantha Sturm’s graceful ballet performance.
Even though I mentioned a ‘trend’ in these types of pieces, In Your Arms has the best of elements. It is like watching a series of monologues taken to a type of expression that surpasses the spoken word. I was very excited to see that Lynn Notagge was responsible for one of the Vignettes, A Wedding Dance. With Nottagge’s style, it was a very powerful direct story that provokes thought and leaves you formulating questions.
The Lovers Jacket by Nilo Cruz performed with Glenda Sol Koeraus, Oscar Valero and Henry Byalikov alongside The Company is hot, hot, hot with Latin flare.
White Snake by David Henry Hwang performed with Alex Michael Stoll and Erica Wong, made me feel like I was in a video game. Erica Wong shifts and changes flawlessly, like a wonderful dancer should do. Wong does just that. Perfection.
These and other vignettes simply cannot be missed. Props to The Old Globe that brought this amazing piece of work to San Diego.
For more information, tickets and show times please click here.