On Stage: H2O — Dance As Life

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It was heartwarming to see the passion that H2O Contemporary Dance put into its last program. Called Pivotal Moments, the evening was intended for Point Park University’s George Rowland White Performance Studio, but a scheduling problem led the group back to its home base at The Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh, which could be termed a safe haven for women who are balancing their love of dance with family.

No matter. With movable scrims, some basic lighting and a row of battery-operated tea lights separating audience from performers, things worked out just fine. The bones of the choreography were still there and the dancers were deeply involved in the execution. The program, which had many personal touches that made it so meaningful, began with Viewing Options by Taylor Knight and Anna Thompson, notable for its slow, deliberate movement design. Allison Garcia’s message was Clearer Skies, featuring Wind, a Thunderstorm and A Tender Farewell, while She Said, by Scott Romani, was a play on the telephone game, where the beginning statement generally doesn’t follow through to the end, something that kept the attention.

But Dana LaSota’s The Clot of Life, a dance rendering of her recent health problems, was both meaningful and compelling, bringing some members of the audience to tears.  And Danielle Pavilik’s In and Out of Moments brought the thematic dance contents to a climax with dance that reached, grabbed and turned in on itself, savoring, as she always does, the organic impetus of movement pattern.

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