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Dancer DiMuro invites audience to find concealed truths

A Bridge Abridged
Performed by Peter DiMuro.
Sala de Puerto Rico.
March 16.

By Jason Thomas

A Bridge Abridged." The premiere of this piece will be presented as a part of Dance Umberella's Boston Moves concert this April.

DiMuro's sneak preview of his vision of Venice remained true to the character of the high renaissance in northern Italy -- sumptuous and harmonious, with interwoven complexity. Danced on the set of the Shakespeare Ensemble's current production of The Merchant of Venice, his dancers, adorned with hand-crafted carnivalesque masks, dramatized images, and stories conjured from his recent trip to the city renowned for its bridges and canals and their shadows and reflections. The masks, both curious and grotesque, amplified the intensity of feeling he directed his company and himself to embody. From a slithering garden of animated statues to the almost minimalist movement of a solo in which he maneuvered a cloak to shield and reveal himself, characters formed and dissipated continually. At times, DiMuro craftily manipulated his cape to make it appear as though it suspended by its own volition. The powerful images summoned by half-exposed faces and peering eyes forced viewers to examine the facades that conceal their own truths.

DiMuro, a process-oriented choreographer whose dance works are cultivated from personal experience, explained that his piece is about "finding the truth [about ourselves] both with and without a mask." This insight into the mechanics of his artistry is no surprise -- his choreographic approach, performance style, and warm-hearted collaboration with his dancers convey the focus of his body and mind and his commitment to personal and artistic integrity.

Afterwards, in a brief display of a repertoire solo entitled "Dad's Letter," DiMuro orated letters from his parents, exchanging words with movements and embodying their personalities and emotions. Here, again, he invited his audience to brave a clash with personal boundaries.

When dancing in his shadows of Venice or not, Peter DiMuro's work can be likened to that of the Venetian painter Titian, with a yen for atmosphere, color, dramatic expression, and characterization.