The Column Online


Choreographer: Ellie Leonhardt

Part of the Out of the Loop Festival

WaterTower Theatre

Dancers - Ellie Leonhardt, Cassie Farzan-Panah, Amelia Wert, Rebeca Gamborino,
Lauren Daniels, Anna Womack, Talia Luna, Alana Clay, Maggie Beutner

Reviewed Performance: 3/5/2011

Reviewed by Mary L. Clark, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

I am admitting right here and now that I am not a dance expert. I have taken
dance and know several specific techniques, and I definitely know what I like.
My entire reason to review both Ellie Leonhardt presents Pixel Dances and
Satellite-Dance Collective is because they both describe their work as a
combination of dance, music, and video art.

For their productions at the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, they both use
computer technology as another art form within the pieces.

First, Ellie Leonhardt performs solo in both Caught.Catching and Encapsulating.
Static movements and long holds interwine gracefully as a camera picks up her
moves and immediately displays them on the large projection screen behind.
Sitting onstage to the side, with computer and other technical devices at hand,
composer and intermedia artist, David Bithell, captures Leonhardt's dancing and,
as she moves, the computer (I assume) duplicates her, then pauses her as
Leonhardt continues to dance. Later, the technology layers her movement, brings
her in and out of the picture, and back again to present time. In
Encapsulating, Bithell adds a metallophone, a beautiful Javanese wood and brass
instrument. Like a small xylophone, it's low, gong-like sound blends
mysteriously with Leonhardt's movement.

Pixel Dances' ensemble piece, The Well Interruption, combine eight women in
duplication with Bithell's "vertical set design" - videos of the tops of
different trees at winter; swaying, rustling, being still. Colors of ochre,
dark green, amber and rust in their clothing further accents the natural setting
and the entire piece illuminates calmness. I always love to watch dancers
moving in unison and this ensemble easily meld together, fall away, join again
and the piece accentuates their talent and ability.

Ellie Leonhardt has gathered a fine ensemble of young women who know their
craft, perform with elegance and maturity and I look forward to seeing their
future endeavors.