Saturday, May 14, 2011

Inlet Dance/CPT DanceWorkd '11

INLET DANCE THEATRE continues to prosper

Inlet Ballet is in the midst of its tenth season! The past has seen the company perform and educate, their two missions. The recent recipient of financial grants, a new phenomenon for the company, has put Bill Wade’s troupe on strong financial ground, and while other companies entrench due to the nation’s financial situation, Inlet looks to grow.

Their present program, part of Cleveland Public Theatre’s DanceWorks ’11, explores various aspects of human relationships while sharing repertory from their history. They also premiere WATER, the first movement of a four element series based on the personality types developed by Laurie Beth Jones, whose THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS has become a major thought force for Wade.

The evening includes WONDROUS BEASTS, a gymnastics-centered piece in which insect-like creatures, individually and collectively co-existence, serves as “metaphors for informing and inspiring choices for life journeys.” This is one of my favorite company selections.

DREAM OF SLEEP is based on sleep studies by Dr. Kingman Strohl. Bodies move in various sleep states from calm reflection through twitches and nightmarish uncontrolled body reactions to create a fascinating look at what humans do as they slumber.

WAR EFFORT EVES, which was created as a reaction to 911, showcases a USO performer, a Hollywood dancer/actress from the big musicals era and Rosie the Riveter. The performance, the evening’s weakest, lacked unity, intensity and dynamics.

OFFAXIS, an exploration of character, showcased Joshua Brown, one of the area’s finest dancers, as he found himself leaning outside the box of cultural norm. Flowing movements and powerful bodily control were highlights of this well-conceived offering.

MEMORITE highlighted the message, “Human life is valuable,” by focusing on the issues facing the elderly and their care-givers. Ryan Lott’s score, composed of verbal sound bites from interviews and the sounds of life, was a sounding board for looking at Parkinson’s, little old ladies in tennis shoes, pain and loss.

The only new piece on the program, WATER, is a pretty but uninspiring composition. Consisting of lifts, carries, and rolling (like waves), there was a lack of a focal center in the attempt to view the aqua personality type. Hopefully WATER is a work in progress and not a final product as it needs more development.

Capsule judgement: Inlet Dance’s Danceworks 11 program is an excellent introduction to their proficient skills.