Spellbound Contemporary Ballet” first floor”

Captivating and daring describes this dance video called “First Floor”. It is choreographed by Maruo Astolfi and danced by members of his company, Spellbound Contemporary Ballet, Italy. Unfortunately I am unable to find the name of the composer. But this video was filmed at the Daf Dance Arts Faculty in Rome.

This dance video was filmed on site in an elevator. This space is very interesting because it clearly defines the spatial and relational parameters of the dancers/strangers in this public and sterile setting. The dancers are dressed in everyday clothes, and we see them in the same opening and closing shot, entering, leaving and jostling about within the restricted crowded space. No one makes eye contact and keeps anonymously detached within their own “personal space” within the confines of the crowded public space. To me this sets up a tense and fascinating dynamic between them.

Sandwiched between the opening and closing shots, Astolfi takes us through a series of short vignettes of solos and duets that show the dancers/strangers interacting with each other or alone in sensually passionate, raw and volatile and at times disturbing ways. To me these vignettes are voyeuristic glimpses into the private and passionate fantasies or conversations of strangers when they are caught in the confined space of an elevator, alone or with another person.

On another level, I find it fascinating how Astolfi uses the cramped public space to create such varied and interesting dance pieces and images. He has incorporated the walls as the dancers fall into them, propel themselves off them while slamming against them with their hands, and other body parts. I like how dancers move out of and disappear into shadows, and the arresting moments when shadowed profiles that are projected onto the wall, look silently toward each other that read volumes. And the still shots that fade or cut in and out of the space amongst the frenetic and varying speeds of the compelling movement.

Throughout, the piece is intense, volatile, edgy and fierce as the dancers eat up the space with bold and sensuous attack as they assail, hurl, enfold, entwine around and drop away from each other. We see Astolfi’s signature in the fluidly erratic movement, which is tightly bound within the confined space.

This is a great concept for a dance video. The dancing is strong and riveting.

Enjoy this captivating and gripping ride on the “First Floor” and SHARE!


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