Saturday, June 27, 2009

Groundworks 6/09

Groundworks great at Cain Park!

Groundworks has, since its inception 11 years ago, continued to prove that it is Cleveland’s premiere small troupe dance company. Their programs continue to be focused, challenging and well-performed. If possible, they outdid themselves in their recent Cain Park three-peat performance.

The Cain Park program consisted of three top notch works. ‘Allow,” choreographed by Artistic Associate Amy Miller, which, like Miller, was strong, purposeful and powerful. Initially performed with little physical interaction and touch , the dancers used static and gymnastic moves to eventually blend together, effectively executing lifts, and flying bodies to create an exhausting gymnastic number that well paralleled the atonal sounds of Dennis Dugan.

Choreographed by Alex Ketley, to the music of Bon Iver and Phillip Jeck, “For You,” was a flowing, interactive, audience pleasing creation. Really two dances of different style and purpose, the first segment was high powered, the latter a emotional section which was tenderly danced by Miller and Kelly Brunk. The ending was met with a screaming reaction of approval from those in attendance.

Shimotakahara’s “Boom Boom,’”in its world premiere, is a wonderful new addition to Groundworks’ repertoire. Danced to eight different musical pieces, each developed a unique perspective of jazz sounds and interactions between people. Highlight segments found Shimotakahara vertically dancing on the side of a wall in “Black Mattie.” Sarah Perrett and Damien Highfield climbed on, over and beneath each other while interpreting “Sitting on Top of the World.“ In “Today I Sing the Blues,” Felice Bagley and Brunk performed the entire piece without losing contact with the theatre’s back wall…quite a dance accomplishment.

When it has been necessary to “restock” his company, Artistic David Shimotakahara has an eye for picking new performers that fit the perfectionist mold of the troupe. His latest find is Kelly Brunk. Tall and handsome, with a sparkling personality that lights up the stage, the lanky blonde is in control of his body at all times. His lifts, gymnastic moves, gestures and eye contact, are well performed and purposeful. He’s a wonderful addition to Groundworks, as was Sarah Perrett, a short time ago.

Capsule judgement: Danceworks’ Cain Park 2009 performance was a total delight. What a treat! It was dancing and choreography at its best! Bravo!