Particularly poignant at the April 11 program at Civic were Farewell, one of Hochoy's earliest works created during his Martha Graham Dance Company tenure, and Skin Walkers, created 10 years later.
Both point to the subtle virtuosity and intelligence Roberta Wong brings to the interpretation of Hochoy's emotional range. Wong's lines, extensions and fluidity are breathtakingly lovely throughout the partnering with AndrÈ Megerdichian and Kenoth Shane Patton. It is the classical adagio extended, snapped back, catapulted.
Drama unfolded before our eyes to music by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, recorded with vocals by Kathleen Battle. This haunting, controlled pas de trois was followed by the no-story, just 10 dancers letting loose to T. H. Gillespie and L.E. McCullough's rousing "new-age Celtic fusion" with jazz violinist Cathy Morris improvising like in a game of musical "Simon-Says."
Watching Wong perform as a company member, her beauty and grace playing off, into, around and with the individual styles and strengths of her colleagues, one appreciates how sublimely she has merged classical dancing with modern's demands. Showering the stage with flowers at the final curtain, the audience gave back the love Wong has lavished upon eight seasons of concertgoers.
"She never sweats," remarked one person upon leaving. "Even if I didn't like the work itself, I loved watching Roberta. She just was always having such a good time up there."
The other works on the Baroque, Broadway and Beyond bill pinpointed two other moments in Hochoy's life. The premiere of Water Music is Hochoy's leap to Handel, with music gracefully performed by the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra on period or reproduction instruments. The 1995 Love Songs, piano accompaniment by Spencer Myer, sung by tenor Steven Stolen, still gives one a catch in the throat as seven dancers in solos, duets and trios make final choices. Love isn"t necessarily fair.