Wendy Osserman Dance Company


A Folk Horror Chamber Suite, LAMINARIA portrays the transformation
of life and death through the metaphor of underwater shadow ghosts emerging from the deep sea.
Written for chamber orchestra and dancers by Concetta Abbate.

CHOREOGRAPHY: Wendy Osserman in collaboration with Lauren Ferguson, Cori Kresge, and Emily Vetsch.

Thursday-Saturday, OCTOBER 26-28 at 8pm, Sunday matinee Oct. 29 at 3pm @ Stone Circle Theatre
59-14 70th Avenue, Ridgewood, Queens, 11385

It has been a pleasure to follow the choreography of Wendy Osserman through the years. Over time she has honed her vision and language to a personal expression that has timeless resonance.  This was evident in her recent work at Theater for the New City, Laminaria, whose atmosphere addresses woman’s presence in the process of birth and renewal. Laminaria is the Latin word for kelp which is used medicinally to induce labor in abortion or childbirth.   

The 3 sections, The Devil’s Apron, Water into Light and Lethe were choreographed in collaboration with the dancers in response to these titles, lyrics and music by composer/violinist/singer Concetta Abbate. The Concetta Ensemble of 10 musicians included Skip La Plante, Music Director of Wendy Osserman Dance Company, who invents and creates a wide range of fanciful percussion instruments and scores.  Especially exciting was a new solo on the program by Osserman with La Plante, “no words”. The many dynamic contrasts evoked different aspects of the performer: the delighted, the struggling , the dreamy, the solemn. 

The trio, Laminaria, is described by Abbate as “Folk horror, a sub-genre of horror.” She imagined an underwater sea ghost, or shadow entity of sorts: “consciousness trapped behind the shroud of grief.” Osserman split the image of the ghost into three to expand movement, spatial and sculptural possibilities. The three women:  Cori Kresge, Emily Vetsch and Vanessa Walters moved in and out of fabric in sensuous and shaping motifs.  Emily Vetsch performed an inspired solo recalling a bird attempting flight. Cori Kresge, coming on to 20 years of working with Osserman, is again “extraordinary” (New York Times)  as she conveys Osserman’s vision, melding her movement with Osserman’s to render it. Vanessa Walters in her first season with WODC adds her strong presence and intensity of focus to the piece, completing the circle. The feeling of ensemble is what one has come to expect of Osserman’s work. Accompanied by the Concetta Ensemble there existed a unity of spirit and matter. 

I think that the work of Wendy Osserman recalls  the great tradition of Modern Dance made by significant women artists over the years such as Helen Tamiris, Valerie Bettis and Frances Alenikoff with whom Osserman studied and performed.”

https://www.dance-enthusiast.com/get-involved/reviews/view/Laminaria-October-21-2022  By Nancy Zendora