In his senior dance concert “We Live Like Water,” Jason Vu ’17 explores themes of Asian-Americanhood, queerness, and social acceptance/the lack thereof. Before the show, however, he urged the audience not to fixate on specific moves or motifs, but instead appreciate the “ephemeral” nature of dance. The first act is a full-length piece that explores the journey of three dancers. In pieces titled “Submerge,” “to Sink,” “to Float,” “to Splash,” and “Swimming,” featured dancers Sarah Hsu ’17, Attayah Douglas ’18.5, and Megan Gessner ’20 move through the rest of the company and through the story with intense energy, focus, grace, and grit.
The second act is as diverse as the first is cohesive: each piece stands in stark contrast to the last, a testament to the versatility of the dancers and, of course, of Vu, whose choreography is rich with narrative, and so, so exciting. The four pieces in this part are vastly different – “Lubrication,” which explores and “aims to reverse,” in Vu’s words, “the oppressive ideologies of the patriarchal society,” is followed by “Estuary,” where six Asian-American dancers speak and move, subtly, through “the tensions that arise between generations of Asian-American families.” In “Confluence,” Vu and dancer Aisha Zamor ’19 share a pas-de-deux in “celebration” of “solidarity” in communities of color. The final piece, “Sweat,” brought the audience swiftly to their feet.
Lighting design by Jason Goldberg ’17 and beautiful costuming perfectly elevate the dancers, for visuals that are across-the-board beautiful. Vu is an accomplished dancer and choreographer; “We Live Like Water” does what only the best dance can do – make the inward outward, and sublime complex thought and experience with the simple human fact of the body.
We Live Like Water will be performed at the Granoff Center Studio 1 Friday, May 5th at 6pm and Saturday, May 6th at 2pm and 6pm.
Tickets are FREE. Presale tickets have been sold out, but half will be released at the door 30 minutes prior to each show.