The Lineage Dance Company continues its innovative, provocative series of dance and spoken word pieces with Life After Death For The Living, a staggering deep dive into the fear, emotion, banality and beauty of death. The work at Lineage is unlike anything else in the way they seamlessly blend spoken word stories with live music and dance to create an experience that comes at you, comes for you, in unexpected ways.
We meet three women, telling us pieces of their stories, sometimes alone on stage and other times with a dancer reflecting the words which then evolves into a duet, trio or group of dancers. The music is a sole pianist playing Phillip Glass. I knew going in that the show’s theme was about death so I tried to somewhat distance myself and just take in the performances. To no avail. Because you’ve got this incredible synergy of expression coming through movement, words, art and music; well, I was a goner. I have to stress however that it wasn’t morbid or depressing. Quite the opposite; it was inspiring.
The inspiration for the piece came from a personal loss for Lineage with the passing of collaborator Luc Leestemaker, an artist who worked on many projects with them. His artistry permeates Life After Death from the costumes, which were made from pieces of fabric upon which he painted, to the Glass music which was his favorite, to the telling of his story through the actress portraying his wife. It was his vision in the last year of his life to create a piece about facing one’s mortality that incorporated music, dance and art. Life After Death is not only a stunning tribute but a breathtaking reminder of hope after shattering loss.
If you have a chance to see this piece or any of the pieces in this series, do yourself a favor and go. You will be glad you did. The gorgeous choreography as well as the precise directing is by Hilary Thomas, while Marisa Echeverria, Elizabeth Gracen and Tess Lina deliver bold acting performances. George Ramirez on piano is a revelation and the dancers work beautifully as an ensemble while each brings their unique qualities to the piece. The dancers are Brittany Daniels, Molly Mattei, Caterina Mercante, Ericalynn Priolo, Julia Schaeffer, Hilary Thomas, Teya Wolvington, and Meghann Zenor.
Check out lineagePAC.org to find out all of the exciting things Lineage is bringing to the community and stay tuned to find out where their new home will be. Farewell cabaret in their home at 89 South Fair Oaks Avenue is scheduled for May 12.
Performances are Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm April 7, 8, 14, & 15
Runtime: 70 minutes with no intermission
Due to adult themes and mild language, this show is recommended for mature audiences.