Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Rita Kohn
Dance Events
Music and Dance Reviews
Performance Programs
Performance Reviews
Modern/Contemporary
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com

Outside their comfort zones, Dance Kaleidoscope dancers shine in “Dance is a Contact Sport”

by Rita Kohn
June 8, 2017
While the world-premiere of guest choreographer Stephanie Martinez’s specially commissioned work “False Start, Pass Interference” was billed as the featured work on Dance Kaleidoscope's season-ending program, the program's opening half, also sports themed, equally impressed.

The program led off with an excerpt from DK artistic director David Hochoy’s “First Light” (1991). Hochoy’s very first work for the company, it reminded us that for the past 26 years he has wholeheartedly put himself into the company. DK's current dancers reprised this segment and made it their own. Performed to John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” the dancers created a panorama of joyful exuberance further heightened by the work's original neon leotards designed by Cheryl Sparks and Laura E. Glover’s spot-on lighting.

The corps of eight dancers fit themselves into Adams’ 1986 minimalist work, mirroring the scoring for orchestra and delivering surprises along the way. Never faltering, although the piece edged toward pushing each dancer beyond their limits, dancers Stuart Coleman, Phillip Crawshaw, Emily Dyson, Timothy June, Aleska Lukasiewicz, Marte Osiris Madera, Caitlin Negron and Noah Trulock, were deserving of the audience's ending ovation.

Next, Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” segment from Hochoy’s “Deep in the Heart of Country” (2014) came as another nod; this time to the special relationship between long-time company members Jillian Godwin and Zach Young (retiring after nine years with DK). Tenderness and conflict are realities in relationships; what are the bonds that can withstand the strains? Knowing there’s no replay. The couple also earned the audience's praise.

With “Catapult,” set on DK dancers in 2015, choreographer Kiesha Lalama told us the inspiration came from decisions made at crossroads in life. Said Lalama of the work: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Pay attention to the unexpected someones and somethings that come into your life. Propel yourself toward the light-Always.”

Perhaps the most cerebral of all the pieces on the program, starts and stops, backtracks and forward lunges, solo turns and group massings pushed, as much as embraced Rishi & Harshil's song "Forget Your Limitations."

Stark lighting accentuated the opening tension in the work. Dancers in black slit-leg pants stood in lines at a 45 degree angle, stock still until music wafted in and the stage fog faded away. As hand and arm gestures grew into full body movements and dancers splintered off, the pace quickened. It was a powerful piece that closed the program's first act garnering sustained applause.

Having seen all of act one's works before, the depth of perception gained with another viewing felt satisfying.

In the printed program, Martinez described her new piece “False Start, Pass Interference,” as “a look into the sports world through an abstract point of view.” What appeared before us in the program's second act was a replication of a swath of fans glued to a TV, clicking on every sports channel and getting 2-minute action with DK dancers depicting every sport replete with an announcer’s frenzied call of plays and adverts luring us to overindulge, including Missy Trulock hawking Oscar Meyer Wieners. Zach Young, Aleksa Lukasiewicz and Cody Miley lured us to grab a coke; ditto for Mandy Milligan and Phillip Crawshaw for Tootsie Pop; Marie Kuhns and Aleksa Lukasiewicz for Green Giant; Zach Young for Alka-Seltzer; Phillip Crawshaw for Life; Cody Miley for Alberto VO5; Marie Kuhns, Paige Robinson, Aleksa Lukasiewicz and Missy Trulock for Miller Lite.

On reflection, it all felt like “Saturday Night Live” on steroids, with a touch of voyeurism as the spotlight brought attention couples on couches, unfolding mini dramas. Credit Taylor Mitchell and Cole Vernon as assistants to Stephanie Martinez for polishing the concept into a performance-ready work.

Credit equally the dancers: Mariel Greenlee and Stuart Coleman with a perfect “Cat on a Hot tin Roof” replication for what happens when the sports channel is king. Ditto for Marie Kuhns and Cody Miley as “Young couple on sofa,” while three sets of “sexy couples” gave an opposite view of what sports on TV engenders—bringing us to applaud the larger-than-life antics of Noah Trulock and Emily Dyson; Caitlin Negron and Timothy June; Jillian Godwin and Marte Osiris Madera

From a dancer’s point of view, Martinez was taking the DK company out of every possible comfort zone while revealing strengths we’d never have known they had, even giving one dancer with a recovering foot injury a chance to perform.

We now know Brandon Comer, wheeled on and off in a wheelchair at select moments throughout the frenetic half hour, is a fine character actor embodying commentator Sam Farber sounding like gibberish on a speeded up tape. Caitlin Negron did a knockout Star Spangled Banner and then pumped us up as a Cheerleader; Cody Miley stopped action as a Streaker; Noah Trulock [leaving the DK Company at the close of his 6th year] delivered intricate rifle tosses in the marching band/drum corps sequence.

In the thick of it was Jillian Godwin as a memorable referee. For the wrap up, Cody Miley led a swelling “We Are the Champions” with the full company exploding across the stage.

At the close of the work and audience member behind me said, “Now what was that all about?”

“We need to see this again,” advised my seat mate.

Yes, we agreed. Perhaps in 2020 to mark the bicentennial of Indianapolis. Especially because Martinez credits walking around downtown for the first time as inspiration for this new work, being “struck by the passion and enthusiasm the fans had for their sports teams. I feel that way about dance and thought what a great opportunity it would be to merge them both together.”
Dance Kaleidoscope in Stephanie Martinez’s “False Start, Pass Interference.”

Dance Kaleidoscope in Stephanie Martinez’s “False Start, Pass Interference.”

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in Stephanie Martinez’s “False Start, Pass Interference.”

Dance Kaleidoscope in Stephanie Martinez’s “False Start, Pass Interference.”

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in Stephanie Martinez’s “False Start, Pass Interference.”

Dance Kaleidoscope in Stephanie Martinez’s “False Start, Pass Interference.”

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy’s “First Light.”

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy’s “First Light.”

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health