Dance performance at VPAC is visually stunning

Dancers perform Blue Soup, a striking choreography by Aszure Barton & Artists at the VPAC on Saturday. Photo Credit: Simon Gambaryan / Contributing Photographer

With great flexibility, movement and an array of music, Aszure Barton and Artists left the audience of their VPAC show on Saturday mesmerized by their stunning modern dance performance.

Aszure Barton, a Canada native, is the founder and director of the Aszure Barton & Artists dance project, currently based in New York. Since its formation in 2002, this performance team has become an internationally recognized group, known for their arresting choreography for stage and film.

The 105-minute show Saturday was composed of two acts: the first, Blue Soup, followed by BUSK.

Blue Soup, appropriately named for its eight blue-clad dancers, was a complex montage of Aszure’s past work.

BUSK, the second act, was a portrayal of street performers (buskers), and examined the different motives behind the art and work of these specific artists.

Primarily composed by Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin, BUSK was made up of various stories performed by nine dancers.

At one point, a female dancer lured in a male performer, leading him to crawl behind her. After a few dramatic dance moves, the male performer turned himself into what appears to be a tiger.

The performance was not without humor, and the group received some laughs when all the dancers piled together to end one of their routines.

The music included a wide range of genres and rhythms, such as ballads and Latin melodies.

Ultimately, the primary focus of Aszure Barton and Artists is its stunning choreography. Many times, the melody and the dancers seemed to be one.

The beauty of Aszure, like most dance performance groups, is that they allow the spectators to interpret the dances without the use of a narrator or speaking characters guiding them.

It is the dancers’ intense flexibility, close attention to rhythm and music that kept the audience intrigued.

Aszure Barton and Artists is currently on a USA tour through May. A schedule of their upcoming performances is available at its web site, www.aszurebarton.com.