Thursday, February 09, 2012

Groundworks Dancetheater 2/12

Groundworks presents compelling program at The Breen Center

David Shimotakahara’s Groundworks DanceTheater has received lots of awards and recognitions. They are well deserved. The artistic director and the company’s major choreographer continues to find fine dancers who are well-trained to continue the company’s tradition of having performers who are proficient, have fine body control, and can consistently perform at a high level. When one dancer leaves, he or she is replaced by another of equal or higher quality.

Though he didn’t choreograph a single piece in the company’s latest program

at the Breen Center, Shimotakahara’s perfectionist stamp was all over the performances.

Amy Miller, a former Groundworks dancer and presently the group’s Artistic Associate, left the area to move to New York, but returns to choreograph. Her VALENCE, was all Miller. Strong, powerful, controlled. The dancers moved with precision to a cacophony of sounds. The piece portrayed the capacity of one person or thing to react with or affect another. Like exploding atoms, the dancers ran, interacted and moved and affected each other. The two art forms of music and dance melded into a coherent purposeful piece. Dennis Dugan’s lighting well accented the actions.

CoDa, by Israeli choreographer Ronen Koresh, received its world premiere. It was danced to a variety of musical sounds and selections from such sources as Steppe, Seuls au monde and Invités sur la terre. Combining visual images from both Sephardic and Ashkenazy heritages, with moves of Hasidic and contemporary Israel, there was a heartiness, freshness and compelling presence to the dancing.

No story was told. Instead, it was a series of kinetic images that grab and hold an audience and was greeted by prolonged applause.

HINDSIGHT by Choreographer Lynn Taylor-Corbett concluded the exciting evening. Dancing to such songs as I’ll Stand By You, Hymn to Her, Rosalee, and Love’s A Mystery, the six-part piece, well used the dancers to create visual images that fit the music and created fine illusions.

Capsule judgement: Bravos to Felice Bagley, Sarah Perrett, Kathryn Taylor, Damien Highfield and Gary Lenington who effectively danced every number in the concert. Their abilities, along with fine choreography, made this a special evening of dance.