Jasmin Vardimon impresses the audience of Montclair State University.
Six of the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company‘s members graced the stage for about an hour and a half each night of their performance. The fluid dance moves mixed with both heightened, comical and low dramatic themes kept the show very entertaining. The company even paid homage to legendary music greats like Led Zeppelin, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Although “Freedom” had no intermission, audience members never felt uneasy, and they enjoyed every minute of the show.
Glen Rouchand of Montclair said, “I was quite impressed with the creative intensity.” Rouchand, an artist, was glad that the show was not “traditional,” and said that he would absolutely attend another Vardimon show.
The performance was packed with scenery that can only be described as eye-catching. Hanging from the rafters on both sides were hoses, streamers, garland and a collection of wire that was draped all the way down to the stage. The production team made great use of the lights in the venue during their laser lizard piece, as well.
“Freedom” truly explored the notion of imagination. With very limited speaking by the dancers, audience members were encouraged to create their own understanding of what was taking place and what was to come.
Much like other dance theater pieces, “Freedom” was based more on physical presentation through the art of dance, rather than dialogue. However, members of Montclair State University’s student body, Darrell Felter, Davonte Richards and Elizabeth Cho, all agreed that the lack a dialogue did not take away from the show’s message.
Felter took notice of the dancers, in particular highlighting that the company only used six people to do one entire show. The dancers alternated between pieces, but performed many scenes together.
Cho said, “I liked the ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ part, which showcased all of the dancers at once.” In this part, two separate groupings were on stage together.
Right after the show, Richards was at a loss for words. He enjoyed the show and could only say, “It was really good, and I loved everything.”
Earlier in the week, there was a conversation with the dance company that the public could attend. Hosted by Neil Baldwin, professor of Theatre and Dance at Montclair State, Jasmin Vardimon and her company expressed that the production would contain a number of exciting features. This included fireflies, “body” surfing, laser lizards, shadow puppets, rinse cycles, balloons and a swan with an altitude problem. Miraculously enough, the company held true to their promise, making great use of Kasser Theater’s moderately-sized stage.
In the same conversation that took place prior to the show, Jasmin Vardimon assured listeners that the size of the venue would not take away from the production. Vardimon, who spent years creating “Freedom” also recommended viewers see the show more than once. She confidently stated that, “a creative audience will be able to pick out something new each time.”
Jasmin Vardimon’s “Freedom” was truly a treat for those who attended. If audience members are interested in seeing the company again some time in the future they can visit the groups website for tour information.
Coming up next at Kasser Theatre is Andrew Lippa’s “Wild Party,” performed by Montclair State’s College of the Arts. The show runs from May 1 through May 8 and tickets are sold for $15. Please be advised that this show contains adult themes and content. For more information, please visit the Peak Performances website.