A typical Monday night turned into anything but when I was asked to cover a show at the Paul Creative Arts Center (PCAC). Going into the show uninformed was, although unconventional, likely what made the experience so memorable. I had no idea the performance would reinvent my perspective on the art of theatre.
Established in 1991 by artistic director Roni Koresh, the Koresh Dance Company combines powerful Mozart pieces with a unique blend of folk and modern dance styles. Its aggressiveness and hard-pressed rigidness contrast the presence of tranquility, creating a dynamic of solidity and composure.
I sat there with my notepad, at first confused. I felt overwhelmed as someone who’s never been exposed to theatre or dance. The clothing, music and choreography all felt simultaneously intentional yet somehow irregular; the performers’ unpredictable movements only further impressed me. There was no telling what to expect because nobody knew.
One of the more awe-inspiring aspects was the sense of solitude each dancer held. Despite the togetherness, the impression of fellowship, I could point out any one of them and watch as the intriguing façade fell flat. No matter how synchronized they were as a group, they were all just individuals expressing their own emotions.
The music was remarkably all over the place. It started with a slow and melodic feel and slowly began to pick up with emotion. Haunting clashes and shouts interrupted an increasingly intrusive melody. I became invested.
Intermission collided with my thoughts and I realized I’d stopped taking notes. A performance powerful enough to make me forget why I was watching it is certainly worthy of praise. It was at this point that I looked back and wondered why there was no one in the audience under the age of 20, spare the likely dance majors. I strongly urge more students to attend PCAC events in hope that more shows like this can be put on.
The second half was no less impassioned. My thoughts blended. I felt as though the performance had a sweeping grasp of the crowd’s emotions and wasn’t going to let go until the very last second. By the end of the show I was finding it difficult to collect my thoughts into anything even halfway coherent; I was by all means floored.
Soon afterward I was able to meet with Koresh. When asked how he is able to transfix the audience in such a direct manner, he answered, “There is always a desire to find and express yourself. It’s extremely difficult, I’ve found, in today’s internet age, to find individuality. I want my art to speak to that individuality in every person.” He further added, “But some of that responsibility lies with the individual. You need to find something and expose yourself in order to improve your own life.”
Koresh believes that it’s difficult to reach an entire audience because every person has their own preferences. In this case, I believe he’s tapped into a creative goldmine that encapsulates viewers of any background.
Future events at the PCAC include opera and concert ensemble The Bostonians, pianist Eric Lu, progressive chamber musical group Cordis and a Robert Frost inspired “This Verse Thing.”