Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

Hope Stone Dance’s La Vie a Pleines Dents

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Review By Rosie Trump

In an empty second floor retail loft in the Houston Pavilions, Hope Stone Dance Company has set up a pastiche of dining room table chairs, settees and carpet squares flanking a portable dance floor, ensuring no two seats are the same, literally.

Artistic director and choreographer Jane Weiner assembles eleven dancers, accompanied by almost forty musicians and singers for “la vie a pleines dents” (to bite life with all of one’s teeth.) Featuring special guests, Mercury Baroque and the Houston Boychoir, “la vie a pleines dents” is epic in scale and girth. Continue reading…

“Return of the Masters” & “Giselle” by Houston Ballet

While the heat remains unrelenting outside, Houston Ballet opened its 2011-2012 season with a cool winter wonderland. “Return of the Masters” lifted its curtain to reveal the icy delights of “Les Patineurs,” transforming dancers into boot clad ice skaters and the stage into a picturesque frozen pond. Continue reading here…

Marie — A courtly new classic

Dancer: Melody Herrera Photo by: Pam Francis

On Thursday February March 24, the Houston Ballet opened Marie, the 2009 original ballet by  Artistic Director Stanton Welch.

To read the full review by Rosie Trump click here

Win, Lose or Luck of the Draw

Dancers (L to R) Lauren Perrone, Candace Rattliff, Kelly Schaefer and Roberta Cortes in Luck of the Draw

On February 18, 2011  Earthen Vessels, the Sandra Organ Dance Company opened their newest showcase Luck of the Draw.

To read the review by Rosie Trump please click here

Triple Focus

HIStory Dance Crew

On January 22, 2011 the Jewish Community Center of Houston presented Triple Focus, an evening of contemporary Houston dance, including Hope Stone Dance Company, HIStory and NobleMotion Dance.

To read the review, click here

Dancers For Life 15

Dancers For Life 15: Dancing Beyond Borders

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Review by Rosie Trump 10/4/09

Party dresses, a disco ball, and a banana suit– all this before intermission.  On Oct. 3, 2009 Dancers for Life 15: Dancing Beyond Borders drew a large and impressive crowd in the Landis Performing Arts Center in Downtown Riverside.  Dancers for Life, presented by Riverside Community College’s Dance Department, is an annual  benefit concert for people living with and/ or affected by HIV/AIDS.  This year’s proceeds benefit the Fuyang AIDS Orphan Salvation Association.  Artistic Director, John Medina programmed a remarkable evening featuring local, national, and international dance artists.

The program opened with  Almost Moon Light by choreographer Hillary Thomas of Lineage Dance.  This duet splendidly showcased traditional modern dance lines and aesthetics.  With a touch of sentimentality, Almost Moon Light beckoned the ghost of Martha Graham.

As a disco ball descended, dancers entered decked out in retro party dresses and pastel suits teaming with glee and anticipation.  Pregrame, choreographed by Patrick Damon Rago and performed by the Palindrome Performance Group was a lighthearted romp through those awkward pubescent courting rituals enacted at formal dances.  Despite stellar bursts of virtuosic dancing and a sprinkling of laugh-out-loud moments,  Pregame relied too heavily on skimpy character development and mediocre acting, not to mention that it lasted about two songs too long.  Regardless of the impact they have,  prom dresses do not the dance make.

Three Women Two Chairs, choreographed by Tim Rubel was a hilarious physical game of dancers one-uping each other as they vie for one another’s attention. Throw in a banana suit and some Three Stooges type antics and you have a hit!  Three Women Two Chairs speaks to the inherent desire to be liked, and the inevitable rejection of not being the one picked.

To close the first half of the show, Vox Dance Theater performed Auriga, choreographed by Sarah Swenson.  Possessing awe inspiring strength and elegance, this company commands the stage and does not misplace one once of their energy.  Although the content of the work was unclear, Auriga was streamlined and mesmerizing to watch.

The Lux Boreal Danza Contemporanea opened the second half of the show with Storyboard for a Thriller, choreographed by Magdalena Brezzo.  Hands down the highlight of the evening, Storyboard for a Thriller was a riveting dance drama.  Cinematic like episodes unfolded between dark alleys and sewing circles as expectations were masterfully built, unmet, and morphed.  Both rich and complex, this dance embraced the idea of absence, while simultaneously toying with representations of masculinity and femininity.

Kalyani Pallavi, choreographed by Ranjanaa Devi and performed by Justine Lemos, was a classical Indian dance performance.  Composed around a rhythmic structure that follows a seven-beat cycle, Kalyani Pallavi featured precise gestures and dynamic turns.

Always an advocate for dance and technology, I was sorely disappointed with Coning by Pennington Dance Group.   I do appreciate the incorporation of costume based LED lighting, but this work was poorly executed resulting in choreography that had little relation to the technology and a barely visible performer.

Closing the program, BARE Dance Company performed Nevermore, choreographed by Mike Esperanza.  Dark and gothic, this work follows the journey of a male dancer and his encounters with a sinister tribe of tempters.  The strength of this work was its beautiful and complex partnering.

Remember when… it was MAYBE FOREVER

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Photo Credit: Chis Van de Burght

Remember when… it was MAYBE FOREVER

By Rosie Trump

Meg Stuart & Philipp Gehmacher MAYBE FOREVER at REDCAT Sept. 25, 2009

MAYBE FOREVER  begins with two figures, barely visible in the dimmest of glows, low and leaning so close and not yet touching.  The opening duet  writhes, entwines, and recoils– unfolding either deep in the embryonic embrace of a womb or restlessly atop a lover’s lumpy mattress.  Co-choreographed by Stuart and Gehmacher with tender serenades by live accompanist Niko Hafkenscheidmy, MAYBE FOREVER is a haunting and pale poem of awkward confession and romantic loss.

The evening is thick with spurts, then hollows of  memory and gesture.  With an unusual soft floor, the stage is covered in grey velvet and arched in black curtains creating a crisp sonic envelope.  Episodes of movement sketch an unsettled still life layered with melancholy and anxiety.  Cutting to the quick, Stuart’s sentimental recitations ask “remember when…I sent you that postcard… when I said I wish you were here…” and then coldly reports “I take it back.”  A wrenching proclamation for a lover’s revenge.  The most satisfying dancing emerges as aggressive physical partnering, choreographically representing the raw assault and ache which resounds in the aftermath of intimacy.

By the end of the work, I felt fatigued- not purged.  The unrequited wins out and the desperation of loss is left stumbling around searching for his next step.   Leaving the theater, I was reminded of personal maybes and remember whens,  as my own ghosts tugged at my heart and escorted me to my car.