Four diverse, demanding choreographic works, one integrated company splendidly delivering on the challenges. During its showcase, The Next Wave (May 14-17), Dance Kaleidoscope dancers met the expectations of guest choreographers from Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Pittsburgh with a verve that showcases what we can expect for the 2015-16 season. The energy and precision are top notch.
"Tableaux de Provence" by Lucy Bowen McCauley presents a series of snapshots depicting the way of life and the feel of the titular destination spot in southeast France. It feels like a memory sharing between six people who are recalling the specialness of being together in an enchanting place. Music by Paule Maurice featuring solo saxophone with orchestra provides the impetus for recalling this visit. Costumes from Bowen McCauley Dance reflect the region.
In contrast to sunny Provence, Stephanie Martinez plunges us into a remote dusky-ness with "Taking Watch." The company sits stock-still in a line across the front of the stage, backs to audience, only turning heads to absorb the movements of Jillian Godwin advancing toward them and retreating from them. Is she miming in language known only to them and foreign to us? Is she imploring, cajoling, warning, inviting? Music by film and television composer Abel Korzenowski propels the eerie effect and then the electronica sound of the musician Murcof layers into a new rhythm inviting the company to participate in a variety of groupings and finally as a community.
Martinez says, "'Taking Watch' captures the emotions we feel when we come together to live as a community." I got to thinking back to first day in school as a five-year-old — awed by the teacher laying bare the facts of my new daily routine and with classmates slowly getting into the feel of it as participants in a new place with a whole new group of people. Being part of a tribal experience lingers with me the morning after — a continuum from the choreography. Costumes are by Motionwear.
These two works are Indiana premieres. The dates and places of their world premieres were not listed. Act Two brought us two premieres, each with memorable lighting by Laura E. Glover and just-right spare costumes by Motionwear.
"Lake Effect Snow" is mesmerizing with an undulating back projection and lighting effects as 'blink' and see a whole new configuration. Noah Trulock is on a "journey through love." What does it mean to traverse a love landscape? Who are all these other people? How do they affect the outcomes? Electronica music by Jon Hopkins and ambient music by Carbon Based Lifeforms push "the poetic narrative."
With "Catapult" choreographer Kiesha Lalama tells us to "Believe in your wondrous light/Believe in truths you know/Believe and take flight/Believe and let go." TranceDance music by Rishi and Harshil pushes the shamanistic movement that begins with tranquility and fluidity and ups the tempo towards intricate footwork and percussive undulating as the company reconfigures with ever-changing dynamics.