Sunday, October 7, 2007

DCDC: Excellent

Last night was one of the best collections of choreography I've seen. The Dayton Contemporary Dance Companys fourWARD show, honoring their recently retired artistic director Kevin Ward. All four dances original works, choreographed by Ward. A brief synopsis of each, from the program:

"The ballet is a tribute to the memory of Josephine Schwarz...this is the first of a two-part homage to one of Dayton's dance icons...creating a dance wherein the tools (movement cells, motifs, space, harmony, discord, etc.) and processess(development, recapitulation, retrograde, counterpoint, etc.) are all on display seemed a fitting tribute to Miss Jos' life and work)."

Love and the Weather
"Kevin Ward recalls (tongue in cheek) that much of the music coming out of Motown and other recording studios was about either love or the weather, or the influences of one upon the other. ...all this music maintains its joy of love and life in stark contast to the struggels of the time in which it was produced."

Offering to JTF
"...the dancer beigns that leap from student to artisit by discovering the dance hidden within his/herself. The inner joy and passion of moving is what will propel the student from classroom to the stage..."

Sets and Chasers
"A ballet set to Duke Ellington's orchestra recorded live on November 7th 1940 at a ballroom dance in Fargo, ND. The fusion of sounds includes the static of the local radio station, the voices of the announcer, and the background texture produced by the music and crowds..."

....perhaps the most intriguing was the first dance, as it was a showcase or interpretation of technique to some extent (the "craft" aspect was emphasised by the piano accompaniest music). Love and the Weather was the real crowd pleaser, set to some Motown songs (and who does not like Motown)...working with the music, but also interpreting attitude, too. The audience clapped along with some of the music, and the occasional applause one usually hears during a particularly fine dance passage, here turned into shouts of encourgement and affirmation.

Technically brilliant and inspired performances of outstanding work is what brings me back time and again to DCDC, and the other preforming arts events in Dayton.

For more about Kevin Ward and the other DCDC dancers and founders, click here.

For capsule descriptions of the DCDC active repertory click here.

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