Day 1: Ambar Matos Ortiz Performance Review "Philly and Friends"- I A B D 2020

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Sooooo... IABD, here we are. The first performance, Philly and Friends, done! To begin this critique of course I must start by praising these talented and truthful dancers who went out there and gave it their all! It's not everyday you perform at the Merriam Theater for such a symbolic dance conference for many acclaimed dancers, choreographers, and viewers.

The energy in the theater was so genuine and heart warming, thank you all for sharing your love and passion for us.

Now where do I start on how breathtaking all of these pieces actual were. I cannot lie, I was on my top of my seat the whole time seeing all of the beautiful movements executed so precisely by these amazing dancers. The first piece, excerpt of Fula Fare from the Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble, was high in energy with such joyous expression that made everyone hyped up for the show. The dancers along with drum players were fierce which resulted in a lot of audience interaction. It was almost like a family reunion watching the audience call out to the dancers, hyping them up, and the dancers returning the energy back through their movements.

This piece was a great way to start the show! The second piece, Deliverance from the Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble was just as entertaining to watch. The switch from such a melancholy song to a more up beat song and the choreographers choice of formations and spacing made the piece very enjoyable.

The third piece, He's Working from Straight to the Point, was INCREDIBLE! The structure of the dance included a solo by a very talented young man, to groups coming out and dancing, to finally the whole group dancing at the end. The energy executed by the dancers in this group expressed so many emotions that it had everyone  on their feet towards the end. This piece received a standing ovation, as they should've! The fourth piece (a duet) , Falling Into from DMB, was a change in energy and required me to observe each movement more. I believe there is an even bigger, more concrete meaning behind this duet but I still have some reflection to do on it. After viewing it, I loved the use of space, formations, and emotion both of these dancers showed. The fifth piece, Inner Being from the Apprentice Company of Philadanco!, was so powerful it left me wanting more.

Each dancer was fierce and full of energy and it resonated with all of the audience members. After intermission Focus & Break from the University of the Arts, Tears, We Cannot Stop from Waheed Works, Vernaculus from Contemporary West Dance Theater ,and From The Root (excerpt) from Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company were just as fascinating and incredibly pleasing to the eye to watch. Philadelphia you definitely have a lot of talent! I was left with a full heart, ready to dance myself! I cannot wait for these next few performances to see what you guys have in store for us!

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