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You don't need special training to know when the meal is good. - The 30 second reviewer




MAY 2004
TRINITY'S WEST SIDE STORY
Perfectly choreographed production - and I'm not just talking about the dancing. Technically and emotionally adroit and compelling. - The 30 second critic (Looks like the 30 second critic is down to 10 seconds)

NOVEMBER 2003
A NEWPORT NUTCRACKER
The 30 second critic usually reviews musical theatre, but this time its the ballet
The best Nutcracker I've seen. The setting made the Nutcracker into something brand new and the choreography suited the space perfectly. The dancers were flawless with Eva Marie Pacheco a standout as the sugar plum fairy. As close as you can get to having a Christmas ballet at your own home. A good time was had by all. - The 30 second critic
IMC'S NUTCRACKER


OCTOBER 2003
FESTIVAL BALLET'S CARMEN
Well,
Carmen was another Festival Ballet slam-dunk. Outstanding contemporary choreography, strong dancing and powerful acting combined to make a terrific performance. Director Misha Djuric has certainly demonstrated true generosity of spirit by inviting Viktor Plotnikov to choreograph this new Carmen. Misha's a tremendous choreographer, himself, bubbling over with ideas and full of delightfully curvy surprises, but he's never been given his head to do a full-length modern piece at FB. He probably felt his contemporary style wouldn't wash with the old time ballet folk and he was probably right, but both performances I attended, resulted in standing ovations with 'Bravos' for the choreographer. What might have looked too pushy for Misha to do was greeted with cheers for an out of town choreographer.

The two casts were very strong, and the leads played the parts so differently that it's a shame everyone didn't get a chance to see both versions. Jennifer Ricci's Carmen is just plain mean - a force of evil. Her mouth twisted with spite, she insults and fights with women, she taunts men; her contempt is palpable but the men are still unable to save themselves. Surely her Don Jose could have resisted the whole stupid mess if he had paid attention to the way Carmen threw away her apple (and Jennifer did this with such a destructive spirit - it was breath taking) or how she threw the rose down at his feet (as if she were spitting).

Leticia Guerrero's Carmen is sexier and more complex - a fiery temperamental flirt in the Latin tradition and perfectly willing to cross the line from legal to criminal. Encouraging and enjoying the attention of men, never really interested for very long (but so what - she's young), she doesn't particularly deserve her fate or no more so then the rest of us. When she needs help from a guy she finds mildly interesting, she has no compunction about sleeping with him to save herself and have a little fun too. I have to assume he wasn't very good in the sack because she was off before the sun rose. Leticia's Carmen would have stayed if the man was worth her while, Jennifer's demon version had no interest in love.

Don Jose was played slackly by Davide Vittorino, as if he were a bug trapped in a web lost to hope from almost his first meeting with his monstrous Carmen. His tender opening duet with Heather Halloran's excellent Micella was a thing of beauty; his relationship with her makes complete sense, but his relationship with Carmen is inexplicable. He never seems to care enough about Carmen to leave his beloved Micaela and certainly not enough to wreck his life over. This is a dance noir version of Carmen where Don Jose and the audience never really know what moves him to behave the way he does.

Gleb Lyamenkoff, sometimes lack-luster in his previous romantic hero roles, here shone as a man tormented and driven mad by unreturned passion. He loses all moral ground, but his behavior is clear. It comes as no surprise that his Don Jose kills Carmen after raping her - he is trying to reestablish his innocent life, but even as he stabs her, he has to know there is no redemption. When the guards put the black bag over his head, the audience was in direct contact with the power of that moment.

On Saturday, Piotr Ostalov played a rather bland Captain, a character who's just a pawn destined to die. Piotr did make a delightfully convincing corpse as the guards dragged his limp body offstage. However on Friday and Sunday, he was wonderful as Escamillo. Exciting and sexy, he cut a dramatic figure and was totally believable as the center of the women's attention.

The female chorus was glorious - full of passionate dance - having a great time flirting and emoting with the aid of their skirts - long swirly skirts with tight tops in Spanish colors. They revel in their youth and dangerous passions - enjoying the drama they are part of - the fights, the murder of the Captain and Carmen and the destruction of Don Jose. Life is good! The male chorus was equally adept in their quirky movements and quick changes from comic to intense.

Festival Ballet has been growing rapidly in the last couple years and has been specially capable at turning out excellent dancers. One of their young home grown, Heather Halloran is turning into (heck - she's already there) the most amazing dancer. Beautiful in form and divine in her dance expression - she grows stronger and better with every performance. Another dancer worth special note is the amazingly talented James Brown. FB would be the poorer without Jim perking up the tired ballet comedy bits and delineating choreography with which other classical dancers struggle. In Carmen, he's dealing with powerful choreography and surrounded by dancers who can hold their own, but he's dancing his kind of dance and no one can touch him for acting ability, creativity and uniqueness of movement. Beth Petkus also stood out as Mercedes, the woman who chose to take on Carmen and lost, but she almost had her and Beth's tough presence and flashy dancing made her a perfect foil for Carmen.

This version of Carmen is not without flaws. The fight scene between Don Jose and his Captain was weak for both casts. Here, the choreography was not fleshed out (a problem which showed up in a few other locations) resulting in what looked like an under-rehearsed scene. The bigger problem for this staging is the use of Micaela to close the show. Thematically correct but dramatically poor, this non-musical ending must have seemed like a good idea on paper, but it dampens the audience's enthusiasm, which is at fever pitch as Don Jose is led off. It's a testimony to the overall power of this work and the tremendous talent displayed by the dancers that they, the choreographer and the performance still got the standing ovations they deserved.

The movement was so strong, the performances so compelling (especially Jennifer, Leticia and Gleb) that any criticisms can only be quibbles. Along with the rest of the audience, I was on my feet at the end of both shows cheering myself hoarse. On Sunday, shouts of approbation could even be heard during the performance. Congratulations to Festival Ballet for another extraordinarily well done show. How lucky is Rhode Island to have this dance company! And how lucky for us all that Misha Djuric holds its reins!
More about this performance


MAY 2003
FESTIVAL BALLET'S MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM AND THREE PREMIERES
Prepare to wear out your hands clapping at Festival Ballet's best concert yet. FB has put together a delicious confection in the form of A Midsummer Night's Dream using Christine Hennessy's lovely convoluted choreography and re-staged to perfection by her daughter Elizabeth DeFanti. The set is bursting with giant flowers as stars and a moon shimmer above. It's the proper place for enchantment to occur, and the FB gang doesn't let us down.

Two about-to-be confused couples and three drunken peasants find themselves in the same woods as feuding fairies. Colleen Dillard is a standout as the unloved and desperate Helena. Beth Petkus, Brandon Martin and James Brown go to town (but they stay in the woods) as the peasants. Piotr Ostaltov does a great acting job as Bottom - first as a drunken reveler and then as the donkey-headed lover. Through Titania's love, he develops Bottom's character from a soused idiot to an ennobled soul. This interpretation, somewhat less slap-stick and much more interesting than the manner in which Bottom is usually played, adds a new twist to what exactly is happening in these woods.

Davide Vittorino creates a strong but loving Oberon, who's fallen out with his Queen (Jennifer Ricci), but can't resist wooing her all the same. His dancing is outstanding and his Oberon is another excellent well developed characterization as is Jennifer Ricci's Titania as a proud but caring spouse who's love still manages to show while she trys to withhold it.

However, even with this incredibly strong cast well-trained in acting as well as ballet, Jaclyn Ricci steals the show. Her Puck is wonderful in so many ways - her footwork (including a magical set of fouette turns-each one different from the one before - all in character), her amazing slithery body, her delightful arm work, the mischievous almost evil character she creates. I defy anyone to find a more perfect Puck. If she was in New York, the critics would be singing her praises and FB would be adding more performances. Alas, it is not to be. Just don't miss your chance to enjoy the fact that this time, Rhode Island has the best. You won't find any better in New York or Boston.

Following this masterpiece are three shorter dances - one jazz and two contemporary ballets. Reminiscent of Susan Stroman's Contact, Swing Shift tells the story of the loves and jealousies of 'bar flies' and the waitresses who care for them. Although many of FB's classically trained dancers couldn't quite pull off down and dirty, the men did amazing leaps. Junior company member Brandon Martin (formerly of RI's Ballet Theatre) got a chance to shine and he took it. As usual, the excellent Jim Brown understood the eccentric movements and brought the necessary looseness to his jazz moves. Jennifer Ricci is very good as the waitress who's man goes a'wandering. This is the first time I've seen real chemistry between Jennifer and partner Gleb Lyamenkoff. There's so much your eyebrows just about singe in the back row. For the May 3 performance, the under-utilized but terrific dancer, Hillary Lopes, gets to be the Other Woman. Beth Petkus was fine on Wednesday night and I didn't see Hillary, but my money's on Ms. Lopes to bring down the house on this one. And if the girls couldn't really do a shimmy, they could extend their legs practically to the VMA ceiling, and everyone could sure hit the beat. Yum.

In I Corpi Celesti, Colleen Cavanaugh has created a contemporary ballet to music by Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky and Elaine Bearer. The combination of music, movement, title and set gave the feeling of grand and turbulent celestial events. Hardly recognizable, Jaclyn Ricci is quite marvelous as a person searching for a way to get along in her community while finding and remaining true to herself (or is she some piece of celestial matter responding to universal forces?).

The evening finishes with toDAY, Misha Djuric's dance about Billie Holiday. The superb, Letitia Guerrero, who has been far too absent from RI dance, replaced an injured Tatiana Berenova at Wednesday's dress rehearsal. Rumor has it that artisitic director, Misha Djuric called her at 6pm and she drove down from Boston, learned and rehearsed the piece during the intermission and performed it at 830pm! Let's hope she gets to dance it at least one night this weekend. Interesting choreography, excellent dancing, hideous costumes.

A truly wonderful night of dance is to be had this weekend at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium. Run, do not walk, to your phone for tickets.

More about this performance


APRIL 2003
DANCE THEATRE'S SPRING 2003 CONCERT
Ohh Yah, it's a fine time at Roger Williams University for those dance fans lucky enough to snag a ticket for the Dance Theatre's Spring Concert this weekend. At first I thought for sure that Director, Gary Shore, had made a mistake starting off with Elizabeth Spatz's At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners. How could anything else compete with the rich filling movement done to the superb Mendelson music, Song Without Words? This dance makes the audience laugh out loud in delight. Why bother staying when the rest couldn't possibly be as good? Well, I was wrong. Dance after dance tumbled out - each different and each worth the rainy trek to deepest darkest Bristol.

Student choreographers Jessie Boudreau and Candie Carpenter have excellent dances in this concert. Creative Revelations(1) is great fun even if there is no apparent thematic reason for a dancer (Jessie) to be hanging by a chain. The dance uses unusual movement in creative ways as does Carpenter's Fused Innovations. Both dances are well crafted with strong arcs - nothing feels just thrown in - a common problem of student choreography (actually of choreography in general). In Krissy Plunkett's Intertwining Ego's, half the dancers are barefoot and the other half are on pointe dressed all in red. The dance could be sub-titled, The Horror of Pointe. The barefoot girls have to help the shoe-tormented pointers who can barely hobble abound the stage. Amherst's Billbob Brown has contributed a wonderful piece of modern masquerading as theatrical jazz. The last dance of the evening, Breath, includes a stunning virtuosic solo by New York City choreographer (and RWU graduate) Jenny Rocha with outstanding dancing by many. Meghan Metzler was especially fine.

RWU dancers by and large seem to have benefited from the highly charged creative atmosphere at the dance department. To name but two of these influences, Kelli Wicke Davis has her fingers in many artistic pies and is a genius at choreographing movement for theatical work as well as dance. Gary Shore has been creating filmed work a mile a minute. Last year, he won two Orion Awards for his latest film, First Movement Form, which was also presented this past January at The Dance On Camera Festival in New York. (For more on this go to School News.) Now he's is in the middle of a new film project, a very contemporary Swan Lake which, along with Christian de Rezendes, he's doing with Jenny Rocha, Heidi Henderson and Lindsay Caddle. Gary's Dance, Just Re, like many of his dances has humor at its heart and appears to feature every dancer in the company. To say anything more would spoil the fun, so I can't give him his propers. Suffice it to say, he ain't gonna do you wrong.

Perhaps because of all the creative power there, RWU attracts and fosters the dancer who the audience can't keep its eyes off. They aren't always the best dancers technically, but they have something much rarer. Raeanne Moe, who graduated last year, had that quality in spades, and this year Jessica Pantaliano has it, along with Wendy Rokose and several other dancers who are developing into very exciting performers.
Some notable dancers (among many):
Wearing her long long hair like a cloak, Jessica Pantaliano shines with star quality. She's one of those people who don't have to dance, they just look fascinating at whatever they do - washing dishes, sitting in a chair. Audiences would show up to watch her sleep. But she moves beautifully and you can get a good look at her in her solo choreography - Perpetual Light. Even when he's sick as he was Wednesday night, Brandon Glasgow's movement is breath taking. Hugh jumps erupt from nowhere. He tosses them off casually almost thoughtlessly and they hang in the air - beautiful gravity defying arcs.

It's a shame that more audiences don't have access to this tremendous company. The small theatre and the large attendance by RWU students and family members result in only a very few tickets available for the public. This year, Dance Theatre, shut down phone orders so only people willing to schlep all the way to RWU could get tickets. The result has been to further isolate RWU dance from the Rhode Island dance community which has been made the poorer for the loss. Adding one or two Sunday performances would certainly help as would a larger theatre.

But for those of you who have managed to get tickets - ENJOY!

The Dance Theatre Spring Concert
Roger Williams University
Bristol Rhode Island 02809
April 10 thru 12 at 8pm
April 12 at 2pm
Tickets are $5 for students/seniors
$10.00 for general admission
Tickets may be purchased at the door
(Forget this, DT always sell out)
Or in advance at the RWU Performing Arts Center, Monday-Friday 8:30am-3:30pm
For information call 254-3626

Press Release



JUNE 2002
EVERETT & PAULA
As usual when the Everett Dance Theatre comes to its own Carriage House Stage, the Friday night (June 7) performance was a grab bag of experimental mostly performance work where the audience could find a few gems but even the less successful made for an interesting discussion on the way home. All four works were autobiographical and addressed issues from childhood, but only Paula Hunter's completely crossed over from a personal exploration to universal human truth.

Aaron and Rachel Jungels performed Angel on My Shoulder in which each sibling-dancer was attached to opposite ends of the rope on a giant pulley. Video of a personable youngster (their nephew) discussing his life and a bi-polar diagnosis was projected onto the pulley, and between clips of this monologue, the dancers used the apparatus to great effect demonstrating the pull between mood swings and perhaps between different aspects of life. The video was intensely personal, while the movement was more universal and open to many interpretations. Always exciting to watch and wonderfully inventive, Aaron and Rachel's dances need no story to be enjoyed. This year's pulley dance was an extension of last year's Tangled Tango, as if they hadn't got all the entangling out of their system; as if their weight and being earth-bound had held them back. Performance above ground by rope has been (and is) done by others most notably by trapeze artists, but usually it's for a big acrobatic effect and here the movement was subtle and complex. The Argentine tango-style music composed by Alec Redfearn reinforced this movement's relationship to Tangled Tango and was nicely played by Cellist Sara Stalnaker and Matthew Everett on the accordian. Rarely does an audience get to see air-work as close up as they did here at the Carriage House, and it was a special treat.

Marvin Novogrodski's OUT of My MIND, humorous and sometimes insightful, was never specific enough to involve the audience in the darker aspects of this piece. The stage was littered with enticing family photographs of what, from his brief mention of them, were clearly fascinating personalities, but he glossed over his family even though they had obviously deeply influenced him. Nor did he ever really address any of the issues that drove him to a therapist so it was hard for the audience to follow when he got serious. Bravell Gracia Smith's Bout Wha also suffered somewhat from this problem compounded by poor sound quality on the video and the fact that this piece is not yet fleshed out nor firmed up. However singers Ana Monteiro and Tyeace McRae (both Everett members) were excellent and the best part of the performance as well as one of the high points of the evening. There was far too little of them, but what there was made the audience perk right up.

Paula Hunter's Losing Track dealt with the terrors of loss and getting lost. While often funny, the anxiety in this performance piece built to a horrifying level before Paula pulled the rug out leaving only the floor of normal life, but the normal life of, say, John Irving where the ever-present Under Toad lurks, where Something Awful is always around the corner or under the bed - a place we all know but prefer not to stay in or even think about, but going there with Paula was instructive and, thanks to her sense of humor, healing. It certainly didn't hurt either that this piece was beautifully written, constructed and performed.
Performances will continue on June 14 and June 15.

Press Release



MAY 2002
STREET TAP SCOOPS UP A STANDING OVATION
With a thunder storm raging just outside open doors, Brian Jones and Donald Suthard, brought down the Carriage House last night (May 31st) with their virtuosic dancing, comedic timing and witty stagecraft. Arriving onto the empty stage with two little wagons piled high with pallets, props and costumes, Street Tap proceeded (with appropriate music) to build their tap stage - white buckets under beautifully finished pallets held together with orange handled clamps. Without further adieu, the dancers leapt to the stage and performed Flaggers Ahead - a tap dance about construction workers but danced to Prado's Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White. And so it went. To write much more would give away some of the fun, but suffice it to say, this concert is packed with great dancing to all kinds of music including ragtime, tango and classical. As importantly, the Brian Jone's touch is apparent throughout the entire concert. Blessed with a full understanding of dance as performance, he develops the theatrical arc in each of his concerts and focuses on myriad related details with the result that this concert, while looking casual and laid back, is actually a tightly organized well thought-out creative work. Meanwhile, the audience gets to ask questions and get involved and unlike the usual dance concert, cameras are welcome (one of the last dances has a section specifically for picture taking). There were nine routines and two short intermissions - more than the average dance concert - and yet, the night just flew by with the usually staid Carriage House audience giving Street Tap a well deserved standing ovation. Even if you are not a big tap dance fan, don't miss 'em!

From the press release
Brian Jones burst onto the Rhode Island dance scene in 1975 with his All Tap Review. From his humble start in 1972 at the RISD Tap Room to creating a dance sensation with lines of eager spectators that snaked around the block, Brian has become a legend in Rhode Island for his innovative dancing and costuming. In 1995 Brian Jones and Donald Suthard teamed up as Street Tap to bring tap dance back to the streets from which it started. They tour with a portable hardwood stage, clamped together over buckets to form a wonderful percussion instrument played by their tapping feet. Featured street performers at Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace, they also bring their act indoors for theater and festival performances from Newport to Maine. Street Tap was at the Carriage House on May 31 and June 1, 2002.
MAY 2002
DANCE CONCERT AT ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY SHOWCASES TWO TALENTED CHOREOGRAPHERS
Gretchen Rowe and Bridgette Humphrey present their work at Roger Williams University on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Thursday night's performance was full of delightful choreography set on the excellent dancers from RWU's Dance Theatre. The two high points of an already up performance were Bridgette's Underwear There and Gretchen's In to Parts. Underwear There has evolved quite a bit since it was premiered last November and seems to be crossing over from a fun rather frivolous dance to something more serious. Bridgette, a classy dancer with a ballet bearing, blends very inventive modern movement with her ballet sensibility. It sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does (most of the time). In Underwear, the costumes are short delicate pastel tunics worn over clashing and loudly-colored underpants which are occassionally displayed to the audience. In to Parts was choreographed by Gretchen Rowe to music by her composer father - lovely happy music with a strong baroque flavor. The dance surrounds the intermission - an unusual format but very effective. With a pastoral feel, the first part seemed to be about the gamboling of young women full of joy and purpose, but after the intermission, in the second part (Part Too), a small sadness crept in with more deliberate partnering and finished with movements suggesting that life was becoming frightening, that change had come. Both choreographers have separate solo's and finish with Psalom, a duet they choreographed together. Altogether these eight dances comprise an excellent concert full of lovely details and fascinating movement, and with a $5.00 ticket price, it's a best buy for modern dance lovers (It's worth more). Call 401-254-2975 for reservations.

05 MAY 2002
BROWN'S SPRING 2002 DANCE CONCERT
From the opening African story dance to the last recreation of a Jack Cole jazz number, this production does not disappoint. Full of exuberant dancing and colorful costumes, the African dance, Tani has exceptional performances by many with Yaya Johnson a particular stand-out. Another number, Listening, which was choreographed and performed by Brown's RCJ company (never heard of them before Thursday night, but boy can they dance), is a marvelous piece full of innovative and difficult partnering pulled off with an easy grace. Based on Edwin Abbott's classic 1880 novel Flatland, Dimensions, choreographed by Julie Strandberg in 1983, is an incredible combination of modern dance and contemporary ballet in which a two dimensional being falls in with three dimensional dancers. Michelle Bach-Coulibaly along with Phillip Contic and Melody Ruffin Ward created the scary, profound Flamma Flamma. Here, Alison Friedman and Lauren Hale ooze their sooty selves onto the stage to combine with the fiery Ward and Bach where all participate in a truly frightening ritual.

This is the final performance in the quadripartite grant in which Roger Williams University, Providence College, Brown University and Rhode Island College dance programs worked with well-known jazz choreographer Danny Buraczeski. Brown's Concert showcases the two dances, Jack Cole's Happy Endings Every Time and Buraczeski's Etudes, which resulted from this process.

The entire production benefited greatly from the superb lighting design by Timothy Cryan as well as wonderful costumes especially in Dimensions (costumes by Jennifer Godbee), Flamma Flamma (Philip Contic and Michelle Bach-Coulibaly) and Happy Ending Every Time (costume reconstruction by Jenifer Kusick). The phone number for the box office is 401-863-2838.
19 APRIL 2002
GROUNDWERX AT CARRIAGE HOUSE
Offerings by many different kinds of dancers, modern, middle-eastern and Indian. The combined collection is simply marvelous. Heather Ahern and Joan Brazier danced a re-vamped version of the wonderful Tough Love where two young girls take their very forgiving dolls on a wild romp. If this incarnation was a bit too long, the effect was still quite delightful. (This was my take on Thursday. I saw Tough Love again on Saturday and it was just right). A new duet with Heather and Joan, Admired, looked at the pro's and cons of a society's restrictions. The set-up and dimantlement of the hoop-skirts was almost a performnance piece in itself and perhaps should have been part of the dance. Heather's dancing - always top-notch - has been evolving and her solo, Marseilles, showcased both old and new skills - strong controlled movements with a focus on unusual initiation points. Melody Griffin Ward and Kathy Gordon Smith performed a moving There in That Very Place. Heidi Henderson's Lunch Waltz was a perfect and hilarious three minutes of loopy addlepated movement. The clincher for the evening was at the very end when Tara Ahmed's Lasandhi erupted onto the stage. Dancers became musicians, musicians became dancers, feet slapped the floor, drums pounded, classical Indian movement was asked to become something else to which it responded beautifully... Oh, don't miss this concert! Shows are on Friday, April 19 and Saturday 20.
The big guns from the Providence Journal, Channing Gray and Bill Gale were on hand for the Groundwerx dress rehearsal on Thursday night! The result was an acerbic but generally favorable review online at http://www.projo.com/theater/content/projo_20020419_groundrev.50e4c.html. (Reviewer Channing Gray clearly is following in the tradition of cantankerous to the point of nasty Robert Greskovic, dance critic for the Wall Street Journal.)
13 APRIL 2002
DANCE AT RWU
Roger Williams University's Spring Dance Concert continues today with a matinee and evening show. Don't make the mistake of not going because the dancers are just students. Dance Theatre is one of RI's top modern dance companies, thanks in part to the excellent choreography they have the privilege of dancing to. However, at Thursday night's performance the company was uninspired in Happy Endings Every Time, Danny Buraczeski's recreation of a Jack Cole dance, the Buraczeski Etude and Sean Curran's disappointing Visceral Game. Some of the problem was opening night jitters but several of the dances (Visceral Games, Corrida de Toros and, to a lesser extent, Xcept Common Ground)suffered from too many people on stage. Just because a company has a lot of dancers doesn't mean they should all be used in one dance. But there was plenty of good stuff here. Kelli Wicke Davis' 848, dull when it premiered last December, has metamorphosed into an incredibly moving and powerful dance with dancers, Lindsay Caddle, Krissy Plunkett & Gretchen Rowe, giving performances mature beyond their years. Gary Shore contributed We Don't Like You which was so much more than the description provided in the press release. Don't miss it. In Cristine Bennett's fun A Brand New Form we saw a new side of Rowe (who sadly for RI is graduating this year and departing for Boston) as a greedy scientist who brings (dead humans? robots?) to a stilted life. The whole ensemble really took off and made this a dance to remember. Student choreographer, Jen Eakin, presented two dances, Xcept Common Ground and Onagati. Xcept had a weak ending but the body of the dance was very good, and the duet Onagati was well constructed and performed. Another quibble is that many of Dance Theatre's strongest dancers were mis- or under-used. Brandon Michael Glasgow, who was so amazing at last Fall's concert, and Bridgette Humphrey are examples. The quirky but charismatic Raeanne Moe (another graduating senior) was lost in the hugh cast. Call 401-254-3624 for reservations. (More)
APRIL 2001
THE DANCE SEASON UP THRU APRIL
Rhode Island has had some very satisfying weeks of dance performance, and the ladies led the way. It all started with the March 10 performance of Festival Ballet's Celebrate Dance where the supremely talented Eunice Kim knocked 'em dead in Misha Djuric's Extremes where she was partnered with ABT's Sascha Radetsky. Cadence Dance Project danced on March 15 in Brown's non-staged Andrews Hall. There was no lighting, theatrically the venue was very primitive, but the dancing was wonderful. Marisa Soltis and Donald Acevedo started the evening off with a desperate yet passionate look at domestic abuse which alone made the slog to Providence worth the effort. But there was more, the evening finished with the marvelous Anything But Suite danced to songs by Ani Difranco. Marisa went to town on this piece and we were also treated to an exceptional solo by Leticia Guererro.
Just when it didn't seem possible for the dance companies to keep up this level (in fact one of my dance buddies wouldn't come based on this), the Island Moving Co showed their stuff at RIC (March 17). It didn't hurt that they had scoffed up Eunice and Marisa, but there was Eva Marie Pacheco along with Danielle Genest and Eunice in Miki Ohlsen's delightfully sinister Under a Sheltered Sky. It was just swell. Eva didn't stop there, at the start of the final piece Deconstructing Cole Porter she went into that strange rare place (Marisa was there the week before) where dancers are totally on with the music and totally at ease-a place where they don't seem to be even aware that they are performing, and they aren't, seemingly, thinking about the movement anymore, they are just there completely in the dance. Wow.
One minor request to all the dance companies, stop already with naked chests for the men dancers. Even with the most perfect body, the tight dance pants cause the men to look strangely shaped and wrecks their lines. Maybe there is a purpose to this in the occasional dance, but its happening all the time and in almost every company-ditto for women's tight midriff tops, it's cheesy-not modern.
THE PROVIDENCE PHOENIX ONLINE
Inner moves - Alexandra Beller is character-driven...Interview of Alexandra Beller from RIC's spring concert performed March 3 - March 6, 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the March 3, 2005 Providence Phoenix
THE PROVIDENCE PHOENIX ONLINE
Inner moves - Alexandra Beller is character-driven...Interview of Alexandra Beller from RIC's spring concert performed March 3 - March 6, 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the March 3, 2005 Providence Phoenix
I is another - Chris Elam's improbable partnering...Chris Elam interview featured dancer/choreogrpaher at Brown's Mini-Fest performed March 6, 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the March 3, 2005 Providence Phoenix
Techno time warp - Lostwax get interactive...Jamie Jewett interview choreographer for Lostwax at Carriage House Theatre performed March 4 and 5, 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the February 24, 2005 Providence Phoenix
In the tradition - Urban Bush Women celebrate 20 years...Interview and article on the Urban Bush Women. The company performed February 25 at the Providence Black Repertory Company Theatre and Saturday, February 26 at the Providence Performing Arts Center, 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the February 24, 2005 Providence Phoenix
Toe to toe - Romance is in the air at Festival Ballet...Review of Festival Ballet's Scheherazade and Con Amore performed February 11 - 13, 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the February 10, 2005 Providence Phoenix
Fresh start - Stepping into a new space at PC...Article on of Providence College's new building and review of their Dance Concert performed February 19 & 20 , 2005.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the February 17, 2005 in Providence Phoenix
Small wonders Getting intimate with Festival Ballet...Review of Festival Ballet's Up Close at Hope performed September & Oct 1, 2004.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the September 30, 2004 in Providence Phoenix
Body talk Pilobolus' sublime psychic garbage...Article about the FirstWorks sponsored Pilobolus performance performed at VMA on October 01, 2004.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the October 7, 2004 Providence Phoenix
All the right moves An abundance of local and international treasures...PReview of RI fall dance dance season.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the September 23, 2004 in Providence Phoenix
Eyes wide open Hip-hopping with Rennie Harris...Interview wt Rennie Harris performed at RIC on February 19, 2004.
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the February 13, 2004 Providence Phoenix
Sean Curran Returns...Sean Curran dance company performed at RIC on December 5, 2003
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Forever fresh - Paul Taylor is still making dance new
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the October 17, 2003 Providence Phoenix
Fantastic Five Artists shine at Carriage House...Article from May 23, 2003
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
The 2002 season at Carriage House...Article from April 12, 2002
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Tangled Tango...Everett Dance Theatre, Carriage House May 25, 2001.
Reviewer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
The Donohues' take on Vietnam...review from April 5, 2001
Reviewer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Groundwerx Dance Theatre struts its stuff...review from May 3, 2001
Reviewer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Cadence Dance Project, Festival Ballet, and Island Moving Co....An article about upcoming dance performances from March 8, 2001 .
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Inside the American Dance Legacy Institute...excellent article about ADLI and their winter Mini Fest March 1, 2001 .
Writer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Island Moving Co.'s The Steadfast Tin Soldier...review from December 7, 2000 .
Reviewer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Moving on with Anne Myer...review from April 6, 2000 .
Reviewer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Paula Hunter gets personal...review from April 30 , 1998 .
Reviewerer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Wild West's post-modern cowboy and Indians-Sally Mayo...review from June 5, 1997
Reviewer...Johnette Rodriguez in the Providence Phoenix
Also see FESTIVAL BALLET ARCHIVE


Deborah Nash at dn@ridance.com
Wild Women Web Builders
Cat graphics by musician and artist - Pat Healy
A co-founder of Handsome Records
(www.handsomerecords.com)
he also writes and sings for International Pen Pal.
You can email him at patrickhealy@hotmail.com
Built 26May02