BY TAMMY SCILEPPI
His shows have been called “earthy, folk-dancey, emotionally direct, physically intense, and ostentatiously eccentric” by The New Yorker and “Shocking, tender and powerful…” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Undefined by any one school of movement, Israeli-American choreographer Roni Koresh calls his style simply “Dance,” and in recent interviews, he says, “it’s about using movement to communicate, not about adhering to a particular style.”
Since 1991, his Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance Company has been presenting boundary-breaking original dance pieces that offer awe-struck viewers an unexpected experience that often results in a mix of joy, unbridled laughter, and even tears.
The company’s fresh, eccentric blend of ballet, modern, and jazz performances have dazzled audiences in the Philly area and beyond, and now, Koresh and his dance troupe are getting ready to wow ‘em right here in Queens, this Saturday and Sunday.
“We have a weekend jammed packed with something for everyone, including dance, family programming and a free play reading,” Queens Theatre’s Executive Director Taryn Sacramone, said. “One of the most exciting things about what’s happening this weekend is the fact that we have two Queens Theatre debuts: Koresh Dance Company and Chickenshed NYC.”
“Koresh is an amazing troupe which combines traditional Israeli folk dancing with hip-hop, ballet, martial arts and modern dance into a unique performance. The other debut, Chickenshed NYC, is new to the city, but brings four decades of experience in creating inclusive theater,” Sacramone added. “Our performance will be one of the first shows in a theatrical setting for this London-based institution. Children and their families will not only watch, but get to be a part of this show, interacting with performers and puppets to help shape the story.”
Celebrate the human spirit’s ability to create the warmth and power that drives our life journeys along with Koresh’s dancers. The artistic director’s production of “Inner Sun” showcases his stunning choreography to an eclectic score, pairing composer John Levis and poet Karl Mullen. Levis’ Middle Eastern chords and compelling rhythms drive the movement, while Mullen’s poetry provides a pulse for the dancers.
Experience a buffet of rhythmic music and movement enhanced with exotic flavor, as dancers form dynamic stage formations using body percussion, gestures and rhythms drawn from Koresh’s roots (his mother was a folk dancer in the Yemenite tradition) growing up in Israel, and his experience of both Israeli and American cultures.
You may find it hard to resist the raw passion infused in this emotionally charged, highly technical work.
Koresh has created a vast repertoire of 50-plus pieces and tours nationally and internationally to places like Spain, Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Mexico, And Guatemala.
“The best part of me is that I love what I do. I live it. I sleep with it. It is what I am,” he says.
This Saturday, Queens Theatre is also presenting the first of their Spring Free Readings, “Let There Be Love.” A group of befuddled characters who both crave and fear intimacy, comprise this special comedy.
And kids are welcome to join in the singing, dancing and merriment of an imaginary jungle trip during Chickenshed NYC’s “Tales from the Shed.”
Catch “Inner Sun” on March 16 at 8 p.m. and March 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets start at $20.
Chickenshed NYC is scheduled for March 17 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets start at $14, with a family four pack available for $48.
For all tickets and more information, call (718) 760-0064 or visit www.queenstheatre.org.