Dance and music merged Thursday night as the Ephrat Asherie Dance company came to Keene State College to perform for their first time in New Hampshire.
The dance was set to the musical works of Brazilian composer and pianist Ernesto Julio de Nazareth. These musical works include “Brejeiro,” “Odeon,” “Fon-fon,” “Tenebroso,” “Apanhei-te Cavaquinho,” “Confidencias,” “Vem ca, Branquinha” and “Batuque.” The show included various moments where the musicians joined the dancers on the stage.
These parts seemed to be fan favorites as many show attendees reacted positively to the musicians joining the dancers. This includes audience member Jule Jacobs who said he had never seen a dance show like this. “I really enjoyed how the musicians were incorporated into the dance like it wasn’t two separate things,” said Jacobs.
Redfern Arts Center Director Shannon Mayers also appreciated these moments. “I loved the relationships; between the dancers, between the musicians. Especially with the musicians, since they usually don’t get involved in the show. The dance itself was also about relationships,” said Mayers.
Asherie Dance company Artistic Director Ephrat Asherie said she was glad people enjoyed these parts. “A lot of hard work and a lot of love went into making it. I really love this music, the musicians and the dancers. This was a really rewarding experience,” said Asherie.
The show also included choreographed routines as well as routines that were completely improvised. “Even the parts that aren’t choreographed, they feel so free. It feels like we are learning something new every time we are doing it,” said dancer Omari Wiles.
Audience member Tom Julius said he enjoyed this variety in the event, calling it “an unbelievable mix of emotions.” He also said, “I liked how the styles went from flirtatious to comic to menacing to energetic.”
Thanks to the efforts of many including Mayers the show was a success. “I was aware of this company in New York and was especially interested in the way they combined the music with house and social dance and there were so many versions and fused all these different styles together. It was also a way that our students can see that dance can be really fun, adventurous and playful,” said Mayers.
Asherie said she was grateful for this opportunity to come to New Hampshire for the first time and perform. “This was a wonderful occasion for us and we were so excited to be here. I was so happy I got to work with the students and get a sense of how wonderful the student body is here,” said Asherie.
Dancers include Asherie, Wiles, Teena Marie Custer, Val “Ms.Vee” Ho, Manon Bal and Matthew “Megawatt” West. The musicians include Vitor Goncalves, Eduardo Belo, Angel Lau and Sergio Krakowski.
This performance was held in the Redfern Main Theatre from 7:30 to 9 p.m. A talkback where audience members could ask questions to the performers was also held after the performance.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted