A kaleidoscope of movement

Equilibrium Dance Company presents Watercolors

2 minute read
Two dancers, all white background, in mid-motion. One stands, holds the other dance up from the floor by one hand
Equilibrium Dance Company's ‘Watercolors’ is their spring 2024 performance. (Photo courtesy of Equilibrium Dance Company.)

A nighttime drive on I-95 is a source of inspiration for Angelica Spilis, artistic director of Equilibrium Dance Company. That’s when the city is most captivating, with the Ben Franklin Bridge and skyline illuminated, Spilis said. And these ever-changing colors were part of the creative process for Equilibrium’s upcoming spring concert series, Watercolors.

Unique abilities and qualities

Watercolors, to be held Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at the company’s studio on Broad Street, will feature eight pieces. The roughly hour-long show will include new choreography and guest performances from The Dolls, Teresa Barr-Mann, Checkmate Experience, and Bailey Fleming, offering audiences a blend of modern dance, jazz, and hip-hop.

When putting together a show, Spilis thinks of the performance as a puzzle and considers what pieces fit together. Similarly, Spilis said each of the five dancers in the Equilibrium company brings “a very special quality in their movement.” Founded by Spilis in 2016, Equilibrium is a professional contemporary-based dance company and non-competitive dance academy.

“When I watch the movements of one of my dancers, everything looks very effortless,” Spilis said. “And then I have another dancer who moves and everything that she does has this presence, especially in her face. When she performs, she gives a lot of facial features and that makes her really stand out.”

Color in choreography

This is not the first time Spilis has utilized color to plan choreography, but Watercolors takes the theme in a slightly different direction. The title inherently suggests a link to visual art and a fluid, expressive quality. Spilis emphasized this connection in the piece “Mermaids,” which will feature a trio of dancers and will call to mind the ocean.

“The costuming that they wear, I wanted to resemble a mermaid—but also not like you see like The Little Mermaid, but more humanlike,” Spilis explained. “So still bringing out the fairytale creature, but also a humanlike feature.”

Her greatest challenge was choreographing a high-stamina, eight-minute piece entitled “Momentum,” in which all five company members will appear. Another piece, “Pathways,” will be a contemporary solo and acrobatic piece. Costuming will help tie the performance together. While the Equilibrium dancers will appear in different shades, each will also wear a piece of white, sheer clothing.

Bringing a sense of perspective

As Equilibrium aims to inspire connections through dance, Spilis hopes the variety of performances will provide different opportunities for the work to resonate with viewers.

“I always want them to take the piece from their perspective because dance is subjective. Art, in general, is subjective, so I like them to take a piece from their own perspective,” Spilis said. “It may not be what I meant to choreograph, but if they see something totally different, that is totally fine.”

What, When, Where

Watercolors. Choreography by Angelica Spilis. Equilibrium Dance Company, with guest performances by The Dolls, Teresa Barr-Mann, Checkmate Experience, and Bailey Fleming. $25. Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, at Equilibrium Dance Academy, 1802 S Broad Street, Philadelphia. (215) 334-5826 or equilibriumdanceacademy.com.

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