Three and a half stars
Pike Performing Arts Center; Oct. 31-Nov. 1
Hancock illuminates his personal interpretation of the seven deadly sins and Alice in Wonderland through two acts of dance drama. At a Thursday dress rehearsal, the company was in top form, energetically meshing movement, mime and character development for vivid portrayals of group and individual behaviors that showed pride, sloth, anger, gluttony, greed, envy and lust literally rolling out of each other through fine staging and costume, makeup and lighting effects. The sins were portrayed between a prologue with flames literally licking at our heels and an epilogue with a white clad figure countering each sin with a virtue (humility, gratitude, faith, hope, generosity, temperance and love), thus prevailing for hopefulness in the wake of despair. Each segment was well delineated, though the pas de deux between Rachel Rutland Maryanovskaya and Martin Casnova for anger and Maryanovskaya and Sarah Collister for envy were especially poignant. This premiere was followed by a welcome refinement of Alice. It, too, was danced with precision, energy and finesse to bring out the humor, absurdity and the scariness of a situation that could be a dream, a nightmare or bizarre reality in a world fast approaching the rabbit hole.