I recently had the pleasure of revisiting an excerpt of Alison Cook Beatty’s newest work, Magnetic Temptations at the APAP Showcase at the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance. I was fortunate to have seen the full piece during Alison Cook Beatty Dance’s 2018 season this past November, and thought I’d share my thoughts on this powerful piece choreographed by Ms. Cook-Beatty and performed by the dancers of Alison Cook Beatty Dance.
The piece is 24 minutes long and features the beautiful and haunting Grá agus Bás (Love and Death) by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy. Ms. Cook-Beatty describes the theme of her choreography for this work as “the ideals of love and death, on seductions and temptations which most are aware have likely negative outcomes.” This idea is explored through striking unison group movement, interesting and poignant partnering, and powerful individual interactions with the group.
Exploring alternative methods of storytelling, she used the “cut-up technique” (a favorite of artists as diverse as William S. Burroughs and David Bowie) to move away from a straightforward linear narrative. This device was particularly effective in this piece and echoed the non-linear, circular and repeating motifs in the music. The soloist Timothy Ward running backwards in circles was an particularly potent way to communicate this concept in movement.
The unisex shirred stretch tulle costumes, designed by Christine Darch were striking, contemporary, and effective at reinforcing the piece’s simultaneously timely and timeless themes. The lighting, designed by Tony Marques captured the mood perfectly.
I wholeheartedly recommend seeing this incredible work the next time it is performed. I promise, it will not fail to move you.