Sunday, March 23, 2008

Not Exactly DanceWorks

‘NOT EXACTLY DANCEWORKS’ delights audience

‘NOT EXACTLY DANCEWORKS,’ which recently completed its run as part of Cleveland Public Theatres’ ‘DANCEWORKS’ program, was not your typical dance concert. No tights, tutus, high lifts, classical music or choreographed movements here. Instead, knives, lighted juggling balls, fire, devil sticks, hats, a whip and jokes prevailed.

Yes, it was definitely, not exactly, danceworks! It was, instead a tribute, a tribute to Zoe Schultz. Schultz, who recently died of cancer, was the guiding force behind SAFMOD, a performance group which combined many forms of movement into creative concerts.

SAFMOD was supposed to be part of Cleveland Public Theatre’s ‘DANCEWORKS’ series. To cancel the troupe’s performance was not an option according to its members, so Aaron Bonk and Sora Sol stepped forward. Bonk is a premier juggler/stiltist/fire dancer/guitarist/singer/comedian. Sol’s specialty is trapeze and aerial silk/fabric/tissue performance (think Cirque d’Soleil).

The duo totally entertained the enthusiastic audience who were eager vocal and physical participants in Bon’s antics which included bull-whipping the head off a rose being held in the teeth of the theatre’s policeman, making choreographed audible sounds as Bon juggled all sorts of objects, and being foils for his jokes. Sol’s outstanding aerial feats were also well received.

Capsule judgement: Thanks to Aaron Bonk and Sora Sol for making sure that the legacy of Zoe Schultz was not let down. She may not have been there physically, but her presence and spirit were definitely in the house for “NOT EXACTLY DANCEWORKS.’