dance review 88.
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Dance Ensemble Sigma
In the Speed of Light
In a most unusual turn of events, an evening of contemporary dance with Ensemble Sigma, directed by choreographer and part-time dancer Michael Miller, won a warm-up act by the New Generation, a hot new group comprised of six musicians.
It was a triumphant night for Miller, the new talent on the dance block, who managed to offer a full evening program with three choreographies that revealed an assured artistic path, maturity and exceptional spatial instincts to guide him.
The evening opened with Infimum, a solo set to Steve Reich's "Violin Phase," danced by Shai Faran, an exquisite performer with elegance, clarity and inner control who brings fluidity to a series of consecutive fragmented lines and conveys logical sense to abstract movement. On the well-lit white linoleum floor, surrounded by black walls, her stern yet fragile presence epitomizes Miller's dance style.
A set of duets, trios and solos followed, performed by Faran, the captivating Ayala Frenkel and Miller himself. Since Miller is not endowed with a conventional dancer's frame or proportions, and he was first introduced to dance as a mature student at the Technion, he certainly has guts. But there is surprising sensitivity and agility to his movements, a measure of shyness contradicted by the intensity of his intent.
This piece, 211/212, his most recent work, had numerous moments of sheer architectural brilliance, verifying Miller's talent, as did the last work: In The Speed of Light. This piece is set for eight dancers and is the fuller version of what he presented recently at Gvanim Bemahol (Shades of Dance). In this ever-changing work, each dancer knows his set of movements but maintains the option to choose his direction and speed. It was a huge challenge and great achievement.