Choreography by Twyla Tharp; music by Billy Joel
Twyla Tharp's genius is in creating subtext for dancers to bring their unique technical strengths and emotional qualities to the choreography. Movin' Out at Clowes showcased two sets of leads. Each brought forward with integrity the story of five friends graduating from high school in 1965. And each set in motion, for this reviewer, different sets of responses to the ensuing emotional depths dealing with breaking up, getting engaged, joining the military, staying home, undergoing warfare, witnessing a friend killed in action, attending the funeral, coming home shattered from the war experience.
Laurie Kanyak in 'Movin' Out'
It is non-stop bravura dancing - almost brutal in its intensity crossing multiple genres from Lindy hop to ballet within seconds of each other. It's as much a history of dance as it is one of political, social and cultural events.
Billy Joel's music is thrillingly delivered by an ensemble worthy of the ticket as a stand-alone. Darren Holden as pianist and lead vocalist nails the lyrics to every memory tree taking root in the era of America's disconnect with - and within - itself.
There is no way to adequately describe the dancing. This reviewer attended a Broadway performance and the Tuesday and Thursday shows at Clowes. Each time something different came to light because of what was happening on stage. Operatic in its presentation, one witnesses two, three, four different layers of activity at any one time. Just when one notes a standout moment, it's followed by another and then another.
The corps of dancers delivers subtext with clarity. Eddie's nightmare is beyond amazing. Watching the mind hit rock bottom and heal itself is emotional brain surgery. Brendan King and Rasha Thomas each lead us through on their own terms. And how do you dance grief? Julieta Gros and Butler graduate Lynda Sing rip through the roller coaster from anger to Zen. It's a direct contrast with the gorgeous ballet of love with James, danced by James Sofranko and Sean Maurice Kelly, respectfully. It's Brenda and Tony who tie it all together, in a sense of playing into the American dream. Holly Cruikshak, David Gomez, Laurie Kanyok and Corbin Popp mesmerize in transformations into wholeness. Finding again the reason you first fell in love is awesome. From Twyla Tharp's vision to each of our personal relationships isn't that far a leap.