Once again, at Peak Performances, the audience is part of the evening, they don’t just sit there! Choreographers/artistic and general directors, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten's Rocco, inspired by the classic Italian film, Rocco & His Brothers, had it's local premiere, February 12-15. The audience is led, all at once to ringside seats where Quentin Dehaye and Arnaud Macquet, seated with wide legs and slumped torsos “smoke” and flick “ashes” from their cigarettes in the midst of a stare down from across the ring. Without warning, there is a loud bell, followed by an equally loud countdown (10-0) which prompts Dereck Cayla and Edward Lloyd, in all black including face masks, boxing gloves and mice ears, to charge the space from the audience, and in a quick comedic round, circles the ring, taunts the audience to punch or join in their preparatory jumping jacks. Two distinctly charged duets ensued, the first by Dehaye and Macquet is slow and tempered where in a couple of rounds of sparring and fitting their bodies together into welcoming curves, they take on different personas dictated by a single light center stage that grows with each new movement idea. The repeating loud bell separated each round. After complete exhaustion, Dehaye and Macquet leaves and Cayla and Lloyd began their more aggressive, more contact-driven duet with pushups on their fists. Later they mixed a few rounds of sinewy ballet moves with quick boxer-like footwork. Kudos to Greco and Scholten for melding these two worlds so beautifully.
I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member at The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."