CHOREOGRAPHIC PRESS

DanceNow at Dance Theater Workshop presents 50 works from a wide assortment of dance companies giving each artist seven minutes in which to show their stuff.  They invite you to “find your artistic crush” from among the various companies with range from emerging to mature artists.  Wednesday night, my heart went pitter-pat for Amber Sloan and Kyle Abraham.

Amber Sloan’s premiere ‘Below’ is the gem of the performance Wednesday night.  The piece begins with Matthew Rogers and Sloan slowly rolling with their heads towards the audience, blond hair and brown crashing back and forth like waves, getting progressively faster until she stops him with a swift hand to the shoulder.  Like lovers trying to find a comfortable fit, they wind in and out of each other’s space.  The tension builds as the sound of sirens becomes discordant music and the movement grows more aggressive and three dimensional.  Finally, Sloan breaks out of the pattern to sit in stillness while Rogers continues to fret, rolling back and forth.  Even confined to only seven minutes, Sloan delivers a rich and relatable story.

-Hope Davis, iDANZ

In “The Voice of the Body”, choreographed by Amber Sloan, and performed by tall, thin, elegant dancers Thomas Cruz, Emma Judkins, and Jordan Morley, genders blur as female lifts and dips male, and vice versa. All three are constantly involved in a ménage à trois of movement, and yet there is no romance; it’s more a metaphor of life itself, of the slinking and falling of human beings against one another, the turning and crashing and locomotion of the daily effort.
One segment is given over to pure beauty — and with modern dance, let us be honest, we need this — the music by John Glover takes on a subtext of the medieval, and the three engage each other in an almost graceful gavotte, although, with an eye to the experimental, there is always that third figure dragging down the flank of one in the pair of dancers.
Toward the end there is more toiling, rolling around on the floor, sleeping with breathing synchronized, crowned by Ms. Judkins standing on a prone Mr. Morley, her leg extended in arabesque. Throughout, Mr. Cruz has wandered off and on with an open book of music in his hand, and at the end he sings in a range of tenor to countertenor and back again; another grace note, again blending vocalization to the dance dynamic.[seperator]

-Holly Nadler, Martha’s Vineyard Times

Dyad: Amber Sloan — wonderful melt-together duet by Matthew Rogers and Amber Sloan dancing as one person, two people acting as one, and lovers. So in synch.

-Quinn Batson, OffOffOff

Amber Sloan’s solo rEvolve was actually a stunning duet between the dancer and a lightbulb suspended on a string from the ceiling.  Using the lightbulb as her primary lighting, Sloan set the bulb in a circular motion and stayed motionless against the back wall as her shadow circles her.  The shadow dancer seemed to crowd Sloan; she then crawled under the lightbulb, banishing the shadow.

-Sophie Ernst, Show Business Weekly

There is plenty of room in Dance Now for serious and straightforward, too, danced clearly in solos by Christopher K. Morgan, Wanjiru Kamuyu and Amber Sloan.

-Quinn Batson, OffOffOff

Three Women navigate the first Brooklyn Arts Exchange First Weekend: New Performance and Discussion Series of the new year.  Three equally strong and intriguing approaches to dance as work, as eye on the world, as life.  Barbara Mahler’s work is cool, yet sensual; so specific to her physicality the dancers appear nearly as one body moving as three.  Faye Driscoll, a keen observer and reinterpreter of ordinary movement forces us to see the everyday with new eyes, daring to repeat gestures beyond comfort, forcing us past our associations to the abstract, the absurd.  Amber Sloan does the opposite, playing with movement encumbered by literal human connections, creating emotional nuances through dancerly experiments.

Amber Sloan’s One to Three is pregnant with implied relationships.  The weighted high-energy movement, in my notes described as “70s punk crossed with disco,” is driven by breath.  Duets and trios twirl and stretch attached like marathon dancers.  Sloan is “obsessed” with the idea of physical and emotional support.  She asks, “Could you do a phrase with someone of any size?  Could you do the phrase and hold someone’s hand, for how long?  What if you were pulled in all directions?  In the extreme Hanna Kivioja-Honeycutt suspends herself from Luke Miller’s hand.  They spin.  He’s much taller than she; he curves to place his head on her shoulder as they pivot.  Their duet feels intimate though the movement is sharp, quirky, folding and unfolding in intriguing angular curves, little kicks, twists, throws threaded through the spin.  Sloan and Mahler, despite their different approaches, are interested in crafting movement.

-Carrie Stern, Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Amber Sloan’s “A Taste for Delusion” began with Andi Clegg licking what I imagined to be a tequila bodyshot off of Hanna Kivioja-Honeycutt’s shoulder and followed along those lines at length until Kivioja-Honeycutt finally grabbed Clegg’s tongue and dragged her around the stage.  It worked like a clever expansion on a basic Contact Improv exercise (finding contact points beyond the obvious) with a noticeable “The L-Word”-inspired aesthetic.

-Maura Nyugen Donohue, The Dance Insider