YY Dance Company’s ‘SOMEWHERE’: A story of community 

YY Dance Company in 'SOMEWHERE'.
YY Dance Company in 'SOMEWHERE'.

New York Live Arts, New York, NY.
June 22, 2024.

YY Dance Company (YYDC) premiered the evening-length SOMEWHERE at New York Live Arts in late June. The work is the second of a trilogy – the first, NOWHERE, premiered at Chelsea Factory in the summer of 2023. The four performances over three days brought nearly full houses to the theater. On the night of my attendance, closing night, the bows enjoyed a lengthy standing ovation, the likes of which I’ve not seen in some time. This time, however, SOMEWHERE had arrived and the response was enthusiastic. 

Artistic Director Yue Yin’s choreography is born from her technique, known as FoCo: a blend of traditional Chinese classical dance, folk, ballet and contemporary. The technique employs the three ideas of activation, rooting and mapping to explore authentic, powerful connections to movement. The result is a mesmerizing visual experience. 

The stage was set sans wings with the side lights visible, its vastness illumination a stunning art installation along the back of the space. Created by the duo known as The Striped Canary, the large scale set design of white fabric spanned the back of the stage with a sparse door leading to….we don’t know…and created a profound juxtaposition between the starkness of the stage and the whimsical softness and purity of the fabric. 

The world of SOMEWHERE shares those same ideas – broadly that of duality existing to strengthen the whole. The magnetic opposing ideas we all experience in life build through the development of the work, which is constant dancing for 75 minutes. Groups form, change, morph, splinter, and yet all tell a nuanced story of community. The fluid negotiations of efficiency that dominate Yue’s FoCo technique serve well to express the complex ideas of humanity onstage in this piece. The powerful expression of movement always present in Yue’s work compels largely because of its understanding of and respect for balance: to go up, one must root down; to flow freely, one must harness deep core energy; to explode, one must gather. 

For audiences, the almost trance-like quality of the production (set to an original score by Michael Banabila and performed brilliantly by technically masterful dancers) wraps itself around you and carries you to a world fundamentally familiar to us all – that there’s beauty to duality, and that beauty might exist because of it.

By Emily Sarkissian of Dance Informa. 

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