(ABOVE: Craig Wallace Dale photo)
The Magic Hour attacks the existential problem of unstoppable time with ferocious energy as the performers grasp at immortality. In this ecstatic new dance theatre work, performers fling themselves through a scary/happy/sad dreamscape in search of how to be, how to make an impact, and how to fade away.
The Magic Hour’s concept and choreography are the brainchild of Sarah Weber Gallo, a senior member of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet at Lincoln Center, and a former Radio City Rockette, among other performance credits. Her choreography has been presented at numerous international and national venues including MST (Much Ado About Cucumbers & Cigars, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Goodnight Moon, and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown), and most recently Brooklyn’s Roulette Intermedium. A resident of Hoboken, Ms. Weber Gallo is the director of the Mile Square Theatre Dance Academy.
hMAG had a chance to chat with Sarah as she prepares for the play’s run at Mile Square Theatre this weekend.
hMAG: The Magic Hour seems like a very personal story—can you shed any light on what inspired this play?
Sarah Weber Gallo: This project is the culmination of my year of research into mortality and relative time. But truthfully, it stems from my need to curate my retirement from dance performance. So yes. It is personal. This ending-of-dancing is something I have been preparing for since as long as I can remember, but it has proven surprisingly difficult.
Of course, it’s not unusual to retire. Everyone does it. But it is unusual to retire in your late 30’s or early 40’s from something that is more of a vocation than a profession. So I thought I might be able to point a little light at the feeling of ending something meaningful. At the feeling of losing an identity. At the feeling of going.
h: In what specific ways does dance differ from other artistic disciplines, in terms of preparation and execution?
SWG: Developing a new dance differs from developing a play in that the process requires the participation and collaboration of the dance artists. The idea and the movement design originate with the choreographer, but the raw materials are the brains and bodies of the dancers. I have been working with these dancers for more than a year developing the concept, movement vocabulary, and character development. Everything is devised collaboratively.
h: Mile Square Theatre is an intimate space. How will that impact the performances this weekend?
SWG: The Magic Hour is devised specifically for the MST spaces and with audience proximity in mind. It is a shared experience. Live theatre at its best!
Concept and Choreography – Sarah Weber Gallo
Dramaturgy and Direction – Joseph Gallo
Scenic and Lighting Design – Matthew J. Fick
Sound Design – Michael Blaskewicz
Costume Design – Laura Borys
Performance – Sarah Weber Gallo, Quinn Dixon, Thomas Hildreth, Danielle Schulz, Lucy Wild
Thursday – Saturday @ 8 pm
Sunday @ 3 pm and 7 pm.
Tickets: $25 • Students/Seniors: $15