Four and a half stars
Jordan Academy of Dance at Butler University; Clowes Memorial Hall; May 17
Variety and verve marked this ambitious and beautifully articulated program with young dancers from grade school to high school seniors working together to bring a wide range of choreography and dance styles to full bloom. Growth was discernible in several of the pieces from an earlier JAD concert of works-in-progress. JAD’s traditional attention to detail and nuance “from plie to reverence,” translates into crisp, meaningful, whole body movement in the elegant tradition of ballet and a range of modern, soft shoe and tap. Nataly North-Lowder opened the program with a glittering mime, “Prelude to a Midsummer Night,” and closed with “Sleuth,” a jazzy Broadway musical dance number. Roberta Wong’s “Synergy II” featured multiple layers of movement and thematic evolvement as in a symphony. Whimsy with bite makes Larry Attaway’s “La Malaza” fanciful once-upon-a-time tale of rain and madness and retribution memorable. Corps de ballet precision and delightful segments with two male dancers were standouts for both Laura Hedges-Byram’s “Diversimento” and Andrea Bruce’s “Tap Happy.” Byram’s “Labyrinth” is a metaphor for JAD graduating seniors on their journey through life in search of faith, hope and strength while still retaining a sense of innocence. Throughout, costumes and lighting were outstanding.