Zero Flux is the first full-length performance presented by Junction Dance Co, but in many ways, this did not seem like the first show of a company that was just starting out.
The 31-dancer cast of Zero Flux includes artistic director Megan Adelsberger, nine company members, and 21 Junction II members (who pay to be involved in this training opportunity), and so much talent. Zero Flux showcased many styles of dance, such as hip-hop, contemporary, house, b-boying, jazz, and tap.
The show was clearly well-rehearsed (as I understand it, the dancers have worked for several hours a day, two days a week, since January on this project). Most of the choreography was by Adelsberger and it was cleaned to her style, which includes sharp movements, gooey moments, and expressive faces. Adelsberger’s strong vision and impressive execution are highly commendable. I appreciated the high energy of everyone on stage, how the variety of styles meshed together, and how the show flowed smoothly with quick transitions between pieces.
Some of my favorite choreographic moments were a few times when dancers were placed closely together and seamlessly transitioned from highlighting one dancer to highlighting another elsewhere in the group. I especially loved the unique lifts and other connected movements in these parts.
The theme of the first act, entitled “Zero Flux,” seemed to generally cluster around bold expressions, and a celebration of life and dance. It reminded me a lot of Underground Dance Crew (because of the large group, inclusion of various dance styles, and different costumes for each piece).
I generally enjoyed it, although I was mildly disappointed in the lack of originality in music choice for the lone Fosse-meets-contemporary-sexy piece: “Fever.” I’m glad that at least it was a less common version of the song. And maybe the dancers felt that disappointment too, because I don’t feel like they shined as brightly in that piece as in the rest.
After a 15-minute intermission, the next section, “Love Journals,” was all one piece, with extra-smoothly connected parts.
Then, following a five-minute pause, came “A.Live,” which included a variety of live audio to accompany the dancers. For me, the most memorable part of this act was a piece titled “What Do You Desire?,” which included a live actor, Isaiah Cook, delivering a speech by Alan Watts. The content of the speech included the concept that financial practicality keeps many people from doing what they truly desire to do. It was relatable to artists, wherever they are, who may exist on a spectrum from full commitment to their art to completely giving up on their art in favor of practicality. Choreographers Adelsberger and Jeffery Louizia danced along to the words in ways that highlighted the humor and irony of not doing what you love in order to fund the continuation of not doing what you love.
Another thing that stood out about this show was the strong, clean, fun tap dances featured throughout the performance, and how they seemed to be a main part of the plan, rather than an afterthought. Tap was a big part of the final piece, which included most of the cast, and was highly energetic, ending with everyone yelling something triumphantly.
The Zero Flux program states eight goals, and I think that Junction is already achieving some of them, such as, “uplift and celebrate local artists,” and “encourage artistic expression to inspire healing and instill purpose in individuals throughout the community.” There are also some bigger goals, including, “save lives through dance,” and, “create local and international opportunities, events, performances, and outreach to unite with other communities around the world.” I wish Junction the best with all of their goals, and I will be eager to see what the future holds for them.
Kendall Fischer is the artistic director of Myriad Dance Company, and has enjoyed performing opportunities with Voodoo Productions, SBDance, Municipal Ballet Co., and La Rouge Entertainment, among others. Her choreography has been performed by Myriad, Municipal Ballet, and at Creator's Grid, and her dance film project, 'Breathing Sky,' received the 2017 Alfred Lambourne Movement prize.