Non Edwards Dance Works
Before the Dawn
Location + schedule
1420 Washington Av S
About the show
For ages 2+
Choreographed by Non Edwards
"Before the Dawn"
brings together six dances including the apocalypse, mushroom clouds, territory, sirens, sine waves, spatial patterns, megaphones, rib cages, car crashes, roosters, and really great music.
This all-female cast dances without holding back. They lift, support, toss, collide, challenge, call out, push away, draw towards, ignore, interrupt, and listen to each other.
is an upbeat and light-hearted dance of pure kinetic joy. With a cast of six dancers, we weave in and out of spatial patterns and find excitement in duets and partnering.
From the cold war to the ever-approaching year of 2012, we give you our take on a culture of fear, the end of the world, social value systems, and the absurdity therein.
Passings by Nora Bichler
a quartet with themes of memory, lasting impressions, and how we are both protected and exposed.
Trial & Error
a high-energy quintet that bounds across the stage and then is retrieved, pulled, and dragged back to the starting line. A representation of how we hold ourselves and others back as well as a test of stamina and skill, you'll get your fill of leaps.
five consecutive months of serious decline
of these pieces is not like the others... This trio is a tightly choreographed idiosyncratic dance. Almost claustrophobic, the dancers move under a sonic blanket of sine waves composed by Daniel Furuta.
Before the Dawn
the premiere of the seven-dancer work. Dramatic yet also subtle, the dance moves inside the ebb and flow of the music by cellist and composer Erich Kory. Exploring strength and vulnerability, the dancers challenge, confront and support one another. The luxurious movement has a fine-tuned quality that creates and resolves tension.
Link to our Facebook Event Page where you can check out photos from our tech rehearsal generously taken by Jim Smith and/or RSVP!
Inventive and full of heart
by Tyler Olsen Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A terrific little dance piece. The choreography was inventive, spontaneous and exciting, and the dancers danced the hell out of it. I'd like to see this show in a couple of months once they've really become comfortable and familiar with it, so they can dance more and think less. I would have given it 5 kitties, but the constant breaks for costume changes really undermined the momentum of the show.
ABSOLUTELY worth a look. Young, excited, skillful talent in a show that they believe in. The heart of the Fringe.
Huge kudos to the Southern Techs, too, for some GORGEOUS lighting!
A New Voice?
by John Munger Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This show starts with an engaging romp then plunges quickly into darker matters. The second piece, “Lifeboat,” addresses questions of whether the world will end in global warming, nuclear holocaust, or other contemporary nightmares. There are flashing lights, strident use of a bullhorn, and sirens. It’s a bit college-flavored, but the last part of the piece features a brilliantly choreographed quartet on a piece of cardboard too small for the four of them and labeled “Lifeboat”. They writhe, intertwine, lift each other, nearly fall off but are caught, and exchange places, all without going off the cardboard. The next piece, “Passings” suggests attempts and failures at mutual support. This theme underlies four of the six pieces in the show – humanity under stress in an overcrowded world.
With six distinct pieces and seven dancers, there’s some costume changing involved. There was something so very 2010 about the fact that lights came partway up for 30 or 45 seconds between pieces and that dancers walked frankly across the space to their places rather than navigating the labyrinthine backstage of The Southern Theater. I liked this transparent approach to the logistics of doing a dance concert of this kind. It was candid and refreshing, rather than an attempt to mask a modest budget, under Festival limitations, with as close an attempt to fake old fashioned “high production values” as possible.
The seven dancers ranged from established teachers like Jennifer Glaws and Nora Bichler, to some faces that were new to me. They danced with conviction and within their skill sets, which is a triumph of good choreographic direction. They looked damn good. I kind of want to steal a couple of them. With this show I think that Non Edwards has established herself for sure as a new, young voice to be reckoned with in the dance community.
Intense and Innovative Kinetic Invention
by Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Before the Dawn is a simmering slow build in intensity, innovation and kinetic invention.
"Home" feels as though it was designed to entertain more than provoke - showcasing the strength and skills of the dancers - and acts as an appetizer before delving into the main course. While not the strongest of the works presented in this series, "Home" elicits the desired effect - slightly nostalgic, joyful presentation and it invites the audience to join in the experiences that are to follow.
"Lifeboat" was a favorite of mine! With stark innovative lighting, movement echoing the shadows of Hiroshima, and quirky yet profound musical accompaniments; the dance cleverly asks us to consider the choices we would make - those that divide us, those that unite us and the possibilities for and ramifications of humanity.
Set to music by Stars, "Passings'" intimate partnering, subtle intricacies, and stellar performance calls to mind the relationships we form in life - Those we actively keep, those we are forced to let go of, and those we simply let pass us by. The longing is palpable, you can feel rather than see the choices made by the quartet who simultaneously supports and envelopes one another. This is truly one of the stand-out works in the concert.
Soothing like ocean waves, almost mathematical in approach, with sweeping phrases building upon one another "Trial and Error" explores movement that, through it's simplicity of execution, allows the audience to layer its own meaning and experiences upon it.
While I'm not a fan of the sine music utilized to make the sound-score, "five consecutive months" has a similar starkness found in Yvonne Rainer's groundbreaking work "Trio A". Building phrases, repetition, change in directions and the absence of sound created by the sound-score combine to create a feast for the senses that truly evoke the title. It is an experience that is created and examined in a surprising new way - and because of this, I feel one of the gems of the show as a whole.
The title work, which closes the show, is again a stellar piece of work whose partnering and intimate performance coupled with the strength and delicateness of the movement evokes the moments before sleep with a lover. Set with warm lighting and feminine costuming, the piece is quiet strength - the calm before whatever may face us in the morning - a reminder of the challenges but also of hope.
Non Edwards is a fantastic choreographer whose work - while often deep and complex - never lacks a sense of levity and lightness - a rare quality and truly a mark of artistic excellence.
Went in blind-Came out Entertained
by Matt Saxe Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I went to this show not knowing what it ever was because I couldn't get in to "Bite Me Twilight". I know next to nothing about dance, but I do know about stage movement and choreography in the style of Theatre Movement Bazaar and Mummenschantz. This was more dance oriented than stage movement, abstract dance pieces done to varying styles of music. I especially liked the first song. I don't know if it was meant to be a very sexual performance, but it felt that way to me, not outright erotic, but intriguingly sexual. The dancers skills were very impressive. Overall, I am glad I got to experience it.
Beautiful, brainy choreography
by Christy Shingle Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I loved this. Very heady and abstract but also very emotional. Don't be fooled by the smiling display of (apparently) nice, pretty young women in the first piece -- things get a lot more interesting very quickly. A range of "types" among the dancers added to the effect; their personalities revealed themselves as the show went on. Excellent, eclectic music. Non Edwards, who graduated from Grinnell with a degree in math just a few years ago, should have a very interesting career ahead of her. The venue was perfect for this show.
by Melinda Beatty Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I don't really consider myself a "dance person". I'm not positive if I ever understand the story behind a particular dance piece or not, and even some in this show, but that didn't matter. The dancers were exquisite, and the choreography fascinating and at times, breathtaking or confusing (in a good way). Wonderful music choices, too... I've gone home with several new bands/musicians to download! This is a great show that deserves an audience.