Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles dominated rock music and pop culture from 1960-'70. Their namesake "beat music" continues to connect us to their ever-fresh lyrics made accessible on a simple, guitar-dominated lineup and delivered by pleasing vocal harmonies. For Magical Mystery Tour
(Jan. 8-11), artistic director David Hochoy, Janus-like looking backward and forward, combed through the extensive Beatles canon to create a cohesive dance-story with 16 songs tracing a universal saga of youthful abandon giving way to mature introspection - "Innocence" for Act 1 "Decadence" for Act 2.
Originally conceived in 2007, Magical Mystery Tour
gains yet another perspective with a company comprised of dancers new to the choreography.
This production shows what a difference two years can make in the aesthetic life of a company. The new dancers bring not only a wide range of training in both classical and modern dance with diverse experiences elsewhere, but also a different worldview. Hochoy effectively utilizes the meshing of DK's new dancers with its veterans, creating a discernible, exciting tension as subtext to the truth of the work, showing the dichotomy from youth to maturity in one's own life as well as in the life of a commune-community.
Kenoth Shane Patton still owns the work - his power of mime touches heart, mind and gut throughout as the Everyman persona who is both in the midst of and on the outskirts of events. His choices inform the story - our story - from his blanket-wrapped exit from the opening number's brightness in "Here Comes the Sun" to Act 1's closure with searching, tender, rending partnering with and by Liberty Harris in "The Long and Winding Road," and to his Act 2 soul-baring soliloquy in "Yesterday."
Throughout, every dancer is aware of the importance of the lyrics and the music, conveying both the passion and the persona represented, be it as kitsch, coy, corny or mocking Kultur. Jillian Godwin continues to bring her standout athleticism on par with the exuberance of newcomers Melissa Corning, Timothy June, Carly Whitehead and Zach Young.
Perhaps most intriguing and revelatory of the inner truth of Magical Mystery Tour
as a rite of passage work was observed in the corps partnering in the bottom half of Act 2 between Brittany Edwards, who joined the company a year ago, and apprentice Morgan Williams. Equally, three-year company member Caitlin Swihart and Williams created a standout parody with "Sexy Sadie." All three brought star-quality realism and warmth through their grace of line, their sense of continuity between movements and their active awareness of each other in the moments they were living and sharing with us.
Costumes by Barry Doss, lighting by Laura E. Glover and sound design by Mike Lamirand were integral to the show's fascination.