Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Inlet Dance 4/10

Inlet Dance wraps up DanceWorks10 performances with emotion draining piece

Inlet Dance is a special performance company. They spend most of their time educating children. That’s a great mission. But, it’s a shame that they only do several public performances a year. Artistic Director Bill Wade’s dancers are well trained, his choreography is focused, and the performances are always filled with innovative concepts.

Their performance as part of Danceworks 10 at Cleveland Public Theatre was up to their usual high standards. The seven segment program was highlighted by the emotional closing piece, ‘BEAUTY IN TENSION,’ which was being premiered. This was Bill Wade at his creative best. It is based on the tension that surrounds us in this era of crisis and the amount of stress which precipitates a search for peace.

The dancers stretched a large square of material to create a vision of tension. Suddenly a body emerged as a cloth-covered gauzed image from the center of the material. During the piece, each of the dancers, in singles or duos, slipped under the gauze and tried to escape. Even when they got out, they were dragged back under. The combined tension of the musical score by Jeremy Allen and the anguished body movements of the dancers resulted in a mesmerizing effect. This is a very special experience.

‘CREATE,’ the opening dance, featured excellent corps unity. It was created with the help of students at the company’s Summer Dance Intensive 2009.

‘TIGHTROPE’ was, like life itself, full of ephemeral moments. A movement poem, it was a creative walking of a chalk line that appeared as a dancer walked an imaginary tightrope which found the line disappearing as the dancer proceeded. It was billed as a dance showing the precarious balance of living a time constrained experience, the balancing act of life.

‘A CLOSE SHAVE’ was originally conceived in 2006. At first, an ironic and humorous offering, it has evolved into a serious picture of the fears of losing everything. It would be interesting to see the two versions danced back-to-back.

In the Spring of 2008, Inlet dancers went to Easter Island to expose the citizens to modern dance and learn the culture and dance of the natives. Upon returning the company started to develop ‘TE PITO O TE HENUA,’ a seven-part program based on their Eastern Island experiences. ‘WIND’ is the newest, the fifth segment. Joshua Brown and Justin Stentz, two premiere Cleveland area male dancers, used ropes to create sounds and movements that carried the audience across the waves.

Mikaela Clark, Mackenzie Clevenger, Elizabeth Pollert and Rebecca Inman, the women of the company, danced ‘BROKE,’ to the lush music of Vivaldi, dressed in beautiful leotards based on modern paintings as designed by Kristin Wade. As with the rest of the program, the choreography was creative and well executed.

Capsule judgement: Bill Wade is one of my favorite choreographers and educators. His ability to motivate and teach his dancers to be a unified and coordinated unit is to be admired. I wished there were more opportunities to see INLET DANCE in action.