What keeps the truly faithful returning to the theater night after night, year after year, and decade after decade is the hope that something will happen that’s not only beautiful, but also unfamiliar, amazing, and even inexplicable. When theatrical wonder like this hits, it’s a full-body experience that sends goose bumps down the arms and raises the hairs on the back of the neck. Vim Vigor’s premiere of Future/Perfect on Friday struck me as just this kind of wild revelation. The sheer intensity of choreographer Shannon Gillen’s yearning for more of everything — more life, more danger, more awe — became manifest as the five performers tore through this molten composition.
The show, seated theater style, was led off by an extraordinary four-woman performance choreographed by Vim Vigor Dance Company founder Shannon Gillen, and it concluded with the assembly, onstage, of models clad in some of the most innovative looks to come from a young New York designer in quite some time. The rapturous applause was earned. The dance wasn’t just for show. As Phelan explained, “movement” is key to her brand’s identity...
Like last season, the dancers were utterly mesmerizing, this time executing a kind of balletic parkour on and around the three ramps erected onstage.
the vastly gifted Gillen...
Gillen comes up with some brilliant ideas and devises some brilliant passages.
The level of risk is high, and the performers—whether dancing, speaking, lip-synching, or being pitched through the air and hammered to the ground—rise to it magnificently.
As Shannon Gillen’s Separati for her VIM VIGOR DANCE COMPANY unfolds, I think of Edward Hopper’s paintings of bleak, deserted city streets, or of people in restaurants or hotel rooms who are together only in the sense of temporarily sharing the same space..
Shannon Gillen's hour of dance theater at Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center--left me winded and feeling pistol-whipped. I would have checked her Vim Vigor Dance Company for bruises and sprains, but I was too busy checking myself.
- Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Named 1 of 20 artists to watch. Gillen's 'emotionally compelling' work 'transcends the things it references and achieves a sort ofplatonic ideal of intelligent and elevated movement.'
'Watching Shannon Gillen + Guests perform "A Colored Image of the Sun" means being struck over and over by the human ability to achieve the sublime. The constant push and pull between beauty and terror and ecstasy and violence was apparent in every minute of the piece, which transcended the limitations implicit in the human form and became something more than human, it became universal.'
The most satisfying dance on the bill turns out to be MFA candidate Shannon Gillen’s sharp, clear quartet “Deep Sequencing"...'
'She has placed conceptual and choreographic layers on top of the dancers’ natural inclinations, found a way to contextualize their vocabularies and built a house for it all to live in. Gillen is definitely a choreographer to watch.'
'A fluid mover, the fearsome Ms. Gillen has an electrifying theatrical presence.'
'dives into idiosyncratic worlds in her work.'
-Claudia La Rocco
'A Colored Image of the Sun puts a powerful charge in the air from start to end.'
'Ideas, inventions and movement come fast and furious in CLAP FOR THE WOLFMAN, and the dancers take everything from Gillen and make it brilliant.'
'Who knew that the shipping industry could be choreographed? Gillen describes what seems a very undancerly subject withsurprising inventiveness.'
'Dances that made my heart sing were Shannon Gillen’s Botlek [at Dance New Amsterdam], and David Dorfman’s Prophets of Funk [at the Joyce Theater].'
'Les thèmes explorés par le spectacle et le rendu des artisans de la scène ont définivement cloués les spectateurs à leur siège. L'exécution et la finesse des danseuses donnent envie d'en voir plus!'
'The themes explored in the show and the craftsmanship of the scene definitively nailed the audience to their seats. The execution and the finesse of the dancers gives more than one thing to envy!'
'Gillen is based in New York but has been known to perform in Montreal; our hope here is that her company may make it farther west and perform in Toronto. Her striking, hard-driving and emotionally affecting work is not to be missed.'
-Evidance Radio, Toronto, Canada
'The film acts as a conduit, its characters providing impulses for the dancers and a thematic duality of brute versus innocent.'
'Beth Rudin DeWoody, Marty Margulies and Alain Servais, meanwhile could be seen prowling the aisles, or lounging in the grass admiring Shannon Gillen & Guests’ dance performance ‘WALL’ for which women dressed in white hurled themselves against a large white wall, ran around it and rolled alongside it... launched themselves into the galleries’ white-walled booths with an abandon almost equal to that of the lithe dancers on the lawn.'
'Gillen pours as much humor into her works as she does her modern dance training.'
'Shannon Gillen, in particular, was startlingly absorbed in her performance, pulling the audience right into her world and her experience.'
'Shannon Gillen is not afraid to tell you what's on her mind and that usually means that some fairly provacative themes turn up in her work.'