Review: A DK/Ensemble Voltaire at First Friday

Next up for DK is a showcase of fan-favorite pieces, Aug. 19-22. Submitted photo

4 stars

The Athenaeum. Aug. 6 ushered in a crowd-pleasing new First

Friday format for The Athenaeum with Dance Kaleidoscope and Ensemble Voltaire

performing in the first floor theater space. David Hochoy restaged two pieces

from his "Frere Jacques" as if on a fashion runway, between two banks of seats,

with a theater-in-the-round sensibility yet truncated into a rectangle.

This juxtaposition of space gave an added edginess to the

already angular music of Jacques Brel, whose grim songs of love, death and

life-struggles are a-swirl in high energy and cutting emotion. Mariel Greenlee

and Timothy June moved seductively to the flamenco-themed music while engaging

viscerally with the darker lyrics of "Marathon." George Salinas was like an

airborne circus barker selling us Brel's bitingly funny "Jackie's Song." Within

minutes, we were transported from Brel's mid-20th century by Ensemble Voltaire

to the philosopher's literary 18th century, during which the signature Baroque

music expressed order — "the fundamental order of the universe."

Lively and tuneful music, it's Johann Sebastian Bach's hand

at contrapuntal technique crossing over Italian and French textures, rhythms

and forms that made meaningful the jump between centuries as Ensemble Voltaire

players brought harpsichord, flute, violin/viola and viola de gambo into

motion, easing our bodies into quieter breathing.

DK's

next performance is a presentation of fan-favorites pieces, Aug. 19-22, at the Athenaeum.

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