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05/19/2018

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Jill Randall

Thank you for a beautiful, full afternoon of dancing. Every dancer was committed and gave so much to the work. Wholehearted and present through and through.

-The afternoon began with Dana Lawton's blessing and warming of the performance space with the solo "too short." Very clear swirling and lines in space. Clarity and beauty.

-The second piece of the afternoon was "ClusterF(lo)ck." A stage full of 7 dancers fluidly wove many sections together. My memory feels like there were 8 or 10 short sections. I appreciated the endurance for this work, and you saw and felt those moments when the cast got into their flow together and yielded to the choreography.

-The highlight of the show for me was the duet called "Me and You," stunningly performed by Andrew Merrell and Rebecca Gilbert. Very personal to watch, and very personally touching. The life and journey of an intimate relationship through time and space (literally and metaphorically). Hosein masterfully pulled all components together here to create an amazing whole. Choreographically, the play with solo and duet form, near and far spatial distance between the dancers, multiple sections to the duet, and a changing landscape of musical selections all worked to create the life of this work of art. Honesty, exposure, baring ourselves, puzzle piecing with another being in life...our solo identities and our identity as a duo.

After intermission, the show concluded with a longer, new piece entitled "Event Horizon." Grief, loneliness, the weight of it all. Hosein utilized solos, duets, small group sections, and larger group sections with a full stage again. Black costumes and large pieces of black fabric. She plays with images of being bound, tied, contained, and delineated. Again, dancers Andrew Merrell and Rebecca Gilbert are standouts in the choreography - serving as muses for Abigail's work. Their embodiment of her ideas is so breathtaking.

Carving, swirling, slicing, perching, rolling, rising, sinking, pausing, building....Abigail's choreography offers real clarity, rigor, full-body work, and commitment to each image and statement.

Thank you to Abigail and to the cast of 10 dancers for a fulfilling experience today!

Jill Randall, Artistic Director of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center

Janet Collard

As Dana Lawton and I were discussing after the show, we appreciated Abigail Hosein's not shying away from the topic of grief and loss. And in doing so, the piece 'Event Horizon' felt to me a healing process.

Beautiful, emotive, moving and as always with AhDanco, gorgeous dancing!

Janet Collard

Valerie Gutwirth

In the last piece, I was struck by images, each of which I wanted to look at longer: Andrew clutching Rebecca's head to his chest; the five (six?) people enrobed in the curtains; the dancer curving around the base of the curtain 'tree'; and by Lauren's and Rebecca's brief solos near the end. Distilled, thoughtful, arresting.

Rachel Caldwell

I was most taken with the fluidity and ease with which the AhDanco dancers moved in and out of the floor. They were fierce, yet beautifully vulnerable as well. Andrew Merrell in particular was hard to take my eyes off of.

The choreography was rich with emotional impact and exquisite attention to detail. I had a visceral response watching Event Horizon. It made me want to get up and join the flurry of bodies twisting, rolling, reaching and charging through the space.

Bravo Abigail and dancers!

Rachel Caldwell, SADC desk staff member and teacher and Contributing Editor for Dance Teacher magazine

Linda Hosein

I can’t begin to express in words what this show expressed with dance. It was incredibly moving. The dancers captured the emotion each piece was meant to express. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This experience was like seeing a thousand pictures. Kudos to everyone who had a hand in making thins such an amazing experience.

Ann DiFruscia

Life is bristling with glimpses of death; tiny rehearsals of beginnings and endings play out every day, inviting us to see and remember the true nature of all things. Every living being and object is fragile and temporary and will end one day. Can this knowledge help us live with more grace, appreciation, dignity, and devotion to life's range of offerings?

While the anguish and devastation of grief is life shattering, I'm struck by the depth of clarity, love, and creativity that it can generate. Grief is transformative; an expression of deep devotion and love, and in Abigail Hosein's show, “Event Horizon”, I witnessed a bounty of intimacy, a bed of thorns and roses, a truthful attempt to reveal the underbelly of sorrow, and an effort toward mercy and tenderness.

The opening, first piece, "too short" performed by Dana Lawton was bursting with lush, grounded, sweeping movement. Dana's performance was flawless, vulnerable, and timeless. The music chosen, however, by Tom Petty, for me did not support the depth and wealth of Abigail's work and Dana's dancing.

"ClusterF(lo)ck" seemed out of place in the context of the entire evening of work, and while it was danced with aplump by the 7 dancers, it lacked a sense of ensemble and relational complexity. I was drawn to the intricacy of the choreography, the floor patterns, dynamics, and design of the work, as well as how it was lit. The dancers appeared illuminated from the ground up. They glowed and floated seamlessly.

The duet, "Me and You" was a stand-out for me. It embraced and echoed the hope for connection and the despair of heart-break and loss where one person-becomes-two-becomes-one-again. The journey is arduous but critical to one’s growth and humanity. In three sections, the dance explored many of those relational territories. Hosein's ability to choreographically develop and shape each section - creating landscapes of passion, warmth, affinity, with a touch, a gesture, an embrace, dynamic partnering, a divide, long pauses, and physical tension - seemed to follow this couple's life journey from years of harmony to disaffection and rupture. Beautifully danced and performed by Rebecca Gilbert and Andrew Merrell.


The premiere work of the evening "Event Horizon" was a spectacle of brooding symbology. An underworld of grief revealed in archetypal images, patterns, and forms. That first startling image - Andrew walking trancelike across the stage toward a blaze of piercing white light threatening to devour him - had a strange, eerie quality. Suddenly he began to tug & pull at his chest, producing endless streams of flowy fabric that billowed to the floor - like pools of black grief. With every duet, trio, & group that followed, the work devolved into dreamlike webs of entanglement & isolation. The costumes, music choices, lighting & use of fabric aligned with the mournful & wintry longing. Upstage a quartet of dancers emerge - donned and draped in black folds of fabric - moving toward the audience. Powerful. The final whirlings of fury and woe play out, while Oona Wong, gathers and ties all of the entrails of fabric - wrapping and enfolding her body in fetal-like position at the base. “Event Horizon” is a compelling depiction of our human frailty and sorrow. Wounds of emptiness remain. Life continues, bathed in a tender heart.

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