5by5 Reflections


Moments that took my breath away and or caused me to think, wonder and feel at 5by5 September 8th, 2018 at Dance Place.

Sara Herrera’s beautiful solo prompted my son to hum the melodious guitar lines that came after she told the story of her objects and train noises went by.  Her movements were simple and she took time to create a shrine of sorts to memorialize her family members.

Gena Photiadis and TJ Turqman’s ode to his mother was a brave and a therapeutic release for me at least not having known her in the present. TJ is one of two Godfathers to our son Jasper. Watching Gena and TJ play reminds me that love is strong and making art and performing it is cathartic.

Pause Breath Pray

Sandy’s piece “Waiting…” had my body tilting left as I watched every tilt of Uyen Hoang’s body onto Sandy Roachford’s body while they sat on a wooden bench waiting. Daniel Barbiero’s bright and playful double bass bowing made curious interplay between near and far thus signaling and being cued by dancers leaving space for the mind to wander and ponder. “Waiting…” painted time making us think what is she or he waiting for? Eventually one dancer’s impatience got the better of her leading her to trample the bench and jostle over an umbrella with her fellow benchmate. It was a refreshingly clear simple and funny piece inspired by piece of art. Art begets art…make more art!

Think Wonder Feel

Freddie Dunn played a piece on trumpet called “Fear Itself” which used a sound recording that sounded like his own voice digitized and textured with edgy sound scape effects to set the mood.  Something about a man on a trumpet is clear rings true as if a trumpet couldn’t lie.

Devon “Steel Toe” Wallace presented a heart throbbing duet called “Stripped Back” with Daquan “DQ” Williams. With simple props and very difficult choreography, the two dancers seemed to portray with humility and musicality moments of outrage, acceptance or vindication. One stunning contrast of levels seemed to show the unpredictability of luck. Then both spun like propellers: Devon spinning on his toes and Daquan whirling on his head. It was a sight for sore eyes.

Round Turn Upside Down

John Lee introduced his guitar piece. He alluded to his experience touring with Fatoumata Diawara and proceeded to play a piece that paid homage to his with Malian music and West African melody. The way he dialed the piece down while still keeping the energy high was very interesting…definitely, a musical piece with which to dance, meditate or sway.

Juliana Pongata Forero collaborated with Aquiles Holladay to make a solo called Iguana.  The music by Holladay and movement fit so well together. A chuun chikka chuung Caribe vibe sticks in my musical membrane as does the vision of Juliana transformed into dead pan sexy reptile ready for her the next move.  In the Q&A she revealed that she felt that the female and the Iguana are innately similar or same.  I could see that with her scampers to and fro with little booty rocks in between. It was a delightful compact thesis.

Wait Stop Move

Dancing Joan Nicholas-Walker’s piece was a treat as always because like so many of the talented choreographers in 5by5 she created space for the performers to arrive. I mean that she purposely created a duet for Maggie Lockhart and I to find one another and derive meaning only absolutely necessary but to work to dance in the present. Lifting and being lifted by my   partner is like a rollercoaster ride and every time both feet land back on the ground safely it’s a good feeling.

Slow Stop Go

Overall the event was a success! Dance Place was extra supportive of the joint venture.  Without Maggie Lockhart this event would not be possible. She is a loving and kind creative partner who lights the fire. Felt reassured knowing Artistic Director Christopher Morgan and his excellent staff were there making sure everything went well.  Family and friends enjoyed donuts, lemonade and coffee and sparked much conversation afterward. Till the next 5by5 hopefully in the other two quadrants of the city: SE & SW!


For another perspective on the event read Val Oliphant’s first published dance review: https://dancemetrodc.org/local-reviews/review-5by5-community-dance-performance/

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