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Marilynn Larkin
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PMT Dance Studio
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PMT Spring Dance Series 2013: A Higher Bar is Set—and Met

by Marilynn Larkin
May 10, 2013
PMT Dance Studio
69 W. 14th Street

New York, NY 10011
212-924-5694
What a treat to be covering PMT's dance series again—and what a difference a year makes! Although owner Pavan Thimmaiah's shows are always fun and energetic, the caliber of the performances over the May 3-5 weekend demonstrates a significant raising of the bar. Most notably, Mei Yamanaka choreographed and impeccably performed "Mark," a contemporary routine, to Kyte's "These Tales of Our Stay." Yamanaka was totally responsive and in the moment—although she has been working on the piece for quite a while (I found a 2011 YouTube version), her performance was fresh, vital and authentic. For me, she was the personification of being one with the music, a powerful close to the first half of the show (See photos for this and some of the other performances below).

That said, the other numbers did not pale by comparison—a testament both to the hard work of the performers and choreographers, and Thimmaiah's having put together a tight show that hummed like a well tuned engine. Thimmaiah's students opened the show with a rousing performance of "Let Me Love You" (music—Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" and Ne-Yo's "Let Me Love You"), further priming with its energy an audience clearly ready to have a great time. This was followed by "Madam Butterfly," ballet dancing en pointe by Yuki Imaizumi, who also choreographed her own piece. Imaizumi's technique was inspiring—particularly the effortless turns—and the number was a great "counterpoint" to the opening.

The third number, "Oxygen Deficit," choreographed by Alena Tarasova, was a provocative contemporary piece that was well executed, although it did not especially resonate with me. Ethan Wagner's "La Que Manda," the rueda number that followed, was performed by enthusiastic students who were clearly having a good time and communicated their joy to the audience. A friend suggested that dressier costumes might have brought a bit more flare to the performance.

Act II opened with an unsettling piece, "Excerpt from ARIs Proposition 2," choreographed and performed by Yukari Osaka. The piece is dark, literally and figuratively, as Osaka battled insects or bees or a similar pestilence (I was reminded of Hitchcock's "The Birds") projected on a screen behind her. Osaka eventually triumphs, but not before spending a bit too much time in the battle, which made me stop watching until the piece switched gears.

"Salsa Unidos," choreographed by Marlon Mills and Brenda Ramos, was an invigorating number by students of varying levels who brought joy and smiles (I've never seen men smiling so broadly and consistently throughout a dance number!) to their performances. The costumes gave the number a more professional look and ensemble feel. "Dark Waltz," which followed, was a balletic piece with a bit of whimsy. Choreographed by Yuka Kawazu and performed by Taylor Kindred and Arisa Odaka, the dance reminded me of a '50s-style romance, and was quite light, despite its name. While Kindred did a great job of helping to show off Kawazu's skills, I would have liked to have seen some instances in which he let go and shined on his own.

The show closed, appropriately, with a crowd pleaser. Thimmaiah's "Suit and Tie" also brought together students with varying levels of expertise, all "working it" to the best of their abilities! The audience easily got into the spirit and the show ended, deservedly, to resounding applause.
Mark by Mei Yamanaka

Mark by Mei Yamanaka

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Mark by Mei Yamanaka

Mark by Mei Yamanaka

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Mark by Mei Yamanaka

Mark by Mei Yamanaka

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Let Me Love You by Pavan Thimmaiah

Let Me Love You by Pavan Thimmaiah

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Let Me Love You by Pavan Thimmaiah

Let Me Love You by Pavan Thimmaiah

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Salsa Unidos by Marlon Mills & Brenda Ramos

Salsa Unidos by Marlon Mills & Brenda Ramos

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Salsa Unidos by Marlon Mills & Brenda Ramos

Salsa Unidos by Marlon Mills & Brenda Ramos

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero


Suit and Tie by Pavan Thimmaiah

Suit and Tie by Pavan Thimmaiah

Photo © & courtesy of Eric Bandiero

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