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Borderless - A Fusion of Cultures Through Dance

June 28th & 29th, 2024, Austin, Tx ~ Borderless, a compelling dance production, captivated audiences with its unique concept and execution. The performance began with dancers inscribing their personal stories on a large sheet of paper on stage, symbolizing the convergence of four diverse cultural narratives. This intimate interaction set the stage for a powerful exploration of identity and emotion through dance.

 

Borderless: Fusion of cultures through dance
picture credit: Steve Rogers

Under the artistic direction of Andrea Ariel from Ariel Dance Theatre, Borderless was conceived in 2020. "Each artistic partner is a colleague whom I have known and worked with over the years. Bringing this project to life has been a complete joy and a lovely discovery process for all of us," Ariel shared.

 

The 80-minute performance featured four distinct pieces by choreographers Ciceley Fullylove, Anuradha Naimpally, Luis Ordaz Gutiérrez, and Jun “Sunny” Shen, each bringing their unique cultural perspectives to the forefront.


Borderless: Fusion of cultures through dance
picture credit : Steve Rogers

 

Traditions, choreographed by Anuradha Naimpally and performed with Purna Bajekal, paid homage to ancient temple dancers creating a sacred altar. The performance was a moving mandala of movement dedicated to the cosmic dancer, embodying the continuity of devotion passed down through generations. The dancers beautifully portrayed the seamless blend of past, present, and future in a living manuscript of devotion.


BORDERLESS: Fusion of cultures through dance
picture credit: Steve Rogers

Groove Collective, choreographed by Ciceley Fullylove and performed with Kelsey Oliver, explored the communal joy found on a dance floor. The piece vividly depicted the dynamic interaction between a DJ or musicians and the dancers, capturing the anticipation of the beat and the collective groove shared by all.


Borderless: Fusion of cultures through dance
picture credit: Steve Rogers

 

Shifting, choreographed by Jun “Sunny” Shen and performed with Siyan Li, delved into the complex journey of Chinese traditional women from bride to mother. Through expressive movements, the dance portrayed the shift from obedience to rebellion, and the quest for freedom amidst familial obligations. This piece was a profound exploration of tradition versus modernity.


Borderless: Fusion of cultures through dance
picture credit: Steve Rogers

Las Fronteras del Tiempo (The Borders of Time), choreographed by Luis Ordaz Gutiérrez and performed with Irving Maldonado, was set to the evocative song "Sodade" by Cesária Évora. The dance journeyed through the human experience of crossing the borders of time to connect with our inner selves, ancestors, and even future selves. It emphasized the timeless nature of human existence and connection.

Borderless: Fusion of cultures through dance
picture credit: Steve Rogers

These four main pieces were interspersed with Stranger Stories, Heartbeat, Making Bread Together, and Coming Together, all choreographed by Andrea Ariel in collaboration with the performing artists. These interludes added depth and continuity to the overall production.

 

The live music, created specifically for this fusion of cultures performance, added an extra layer of enchantment, keeping the audience mesmerized throughout. Borderless was a deeply engaging production that seamlessly blended dance and narrative, leaving a lasting impression on all who experienced it.

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