Daniel Ezralow, the director and choreographer of Ezralow Dance, has been internationally recognized and awarded for his visceral and imaginative work, which includes the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, and Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles spectacle, Love. He has directed music videos and staged shows for such musicians as Andrea Bocelli, Sting, David Bowie, and U2.
The North-American premiere of his 75-minute, full-length dance, Open is interactive and excitingly delightful. Set to masterpieces of classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Prokofiev, and others, 15 short pieces of dance are performed sequentially as a live music stage performance.
Dancers in chic dark suits with briefcases and trilby hats, showing comical but elegant dance and mimes like in a Charlie Chaplin movie, are followed by a sensual duet by one of the dancers in a suit and a girl from the ocean. In another scene the dancers plant real trees on piles of soil on the stage, which leads to a dance of trees. Each piece is unique and filled with unexpected ideas, showing Ezralow’s vast imagination. The dancers are highly skilled, handling all the genres of dance that his choreographies require, from jazz to contemporary dance to hip hop. Like superstars in a live music performance, they seem to know how to showcase their appeal to audiences through their bodies and movements.
The installation of stage sets, lights, and visual effects are also innovative and groovy. They give an extra kick and depth to the stage, bringing Ezralow’s imaginary world to the stage. The 75-minutes flies by, opening the viewer’s mind to an unknown and exciting world.
[The Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street] February 3-7, 2016; danceaffiliates.org;