Portland-based dance maker Suniti Dernovsek stages a hypnotic performance that marries intricate choreographic detail with an original sound score performed live by Holland Andrews. Initially inspired by the tragic life of the Italian-Egyptian singer Dalida, Leading Light offers a haunting meditation on the troubled boundary between public expectations and private vulnerabilities. Powerhouse performances by Allie Hankins and Dernovsek evoke the precariousness of the feminine ideal, at once dynamic and posturing, yet casting an ever-present shadow of fragility.
“You must have chaos with you to give birth to a dancing star” -Fredrich Nietzsche
Choreographed by Suniti Dernovsek
Performed by Allie Hankins and Suniti Dernovsek
Music composed and performed by Holland Andrews
Costumes by Rose Mackey
Lighting design by Robin Greenwood
Table rigging by Daniel Addy
Photos by Meghann Gilligan
Video by Dicky Dahl
"Dancer/Choreographer Suniti Dernovek's latest production, "A Leading Light", is a collaboration combining the movements of Allie Hankins, Dernovsek herself, and sound artist Holland Andrews. It seems a purposeful deconstruction in terms of cast and set design, resulting in focused yet surrealistic storytelling. A sense of opposition and danger is always present, but ultimately so is the strength to face it. Even at points when the performers crash to the ground or rap their knuckles on the floor, it feels as much a reaffirmation of physical self and surroundings than a representation of harm or failure. Dernovesek is an artist who possesses the ability to translate idea into movement on a relatable and universal level while retaining an awareness of the audience and respect for their power of interpretation. Throughout this process her artistic fingerprint is always present."