Archive for June, 2012


June 16, 2012

If you enjoy modern dance, you can’t do better than Contemporary Dance Theater’s Area Choreographers Festival, tonight at 8:30 pm at the Aronoff’s Jarson Kaplan Theater in downtown Cincinnati.

I’ve been seeing this program (previously titled “Choreographers Without Companies”) for years now and this year’s five works by four choreographers and one choreographic team, are another essential link to area’s abundance of talent and its ongoing expression.

Last night, Leslie Dworkin’s “The Legacy,” (in which the choreographer/dancer performed with David Appel) brought true magic to the stage.  Video projections by Kent de Spain enhanced the work, which began with a black and white projection of two shoes walking along a gravel road, meant I think to give the idea that we would (and did!) see a journey in time.

To recorded solo cello, a man dressed in an old fashioned suit and soft fedora, enters and crosses the stage. Is he conducting, with his graceful flexed wrists? Miming other times, other places? As his image grows large in the projected video, another dancer enters from the opposite side, in her own dance of quirkily center-motivated gestures.

In a series of intertwined dances, music and video, we are invited into a world where for the two dancers abbreviated shorthand movements (memories?) can expand into transcendent movement, poignantly evoking a sense of history and of loss. 

The final effect of this piece drew enthusiastic and grateful applause from the audience.

The program (including some other projections) was rounded out by Collen Byrne’s “Absently Present,” about the stages of breaking up; “dis(embody)” by the team of Stacy Sims and Alison Vodnoy Wolf, in which two couples are said to enact therapeutic casting off and reintegration of trauma; Diane Germaine’s “Small Craft Warning,” a meditation on war and violence; and Judith Mikita’s “Splendid Impositions,” a silly romp sending up fancy pretentions with athletically vivid performances from the six dancers, who mixed elegance with irrepressible break out moves.  

The excellent lighting design, which brought the viewer intimately into the various choreographers’ space, was by Dennis Reed.