Utopia – A Breakout Performance / by Valerie Green

Utopia – A Breakout Performance

By Board Member Katie Garcia

What is Utopia? Is it a physical space or a state of being? How does the outside world encroach on this ideal? These are the questions that Dance Entropy’s “Utopia” sought to address.

From December 13 to 15, “Utopia” made its Manhattan debut at the historic modern dance venue at St. Mark’s Church. Entering a room billowed with smoke, I could feel the suspense in the air as the audience waited for the performance to begin. Massive, painted poles were assembled along the floor. And then, as the music began, the dancers emerged on stage and the audience was taken on a journey of finding balance amidst unsteadiness, peace amidst disorder, calmness amidst chaos.

Now, although I have served a member of the board of Dance Entropy for nearly two years, I have little background in modern dance. My dance experience has centered around a different dance style. However, every time I see the incredible dancers who make up the Dance Entropy company, I am astounded by their endurance and their abilities.

Throughout “Utopia,” dancers maneuvered and hurdled poles, sometimes twice their size, dodging other dancers and the changing stage. The performers pulled the audience into the eerie environments they were creating, asking us to traverse a changing, complex world and to somehow find the guiding light that could lead us out of the chaos. It was spectacular, to say the least.

While I may not be fluent in the modern dance form, if success is measured by whether or not a performance inspires the audience to consider big questions and reflect on their own ideals and assumptions, then “Utopia” was nothing short of an unprecedented success for this ever-growing dance company. 

Photo By Stephen De Las Heras

Photo By Stephen De Las Heras