Review: IU's 'Steps in Time'

Alison Koroly sails during "Company B."

5 stars

Jacobs School of Music Indiana

University Ballet Theater, Musical Arts Center. Oct. 7-8.

This exhilarating program showcases contrasting styles by

pioneering choreographers spanning premieres 1941-1991.

IU Ballet Theater artistic director Michael Vernon's vision

for 3-dimensional flesh and blood, guts and brain, soul and technique approach

to performance is securely in place with animated dancers whose vitality

bristles throughout the demanding changes across neoclassical and contemporary

ballet and modern dance.

George Balanchine visualizes Bach's "Concerto in D Minor for

Two Violins" [1941] as an engaging ensemble of eight dancers interacting with

soloists to show us the music's spiritual perfection. Assuming roles as players

with the live orchestra, the dancers create quick-paced yet luxurious pictures

folding into and unfolding out of each other.

Dwight Rhoden interprets and interpolates modern moves

through Chopin's piano works as dancers literally float, bounce and explode off

the keyboard and represent the exhilarating spaces between notes. Something

exciting is happening standing still. The dancers are living manifestations of

Chopin's passion and energy throughout "Dear Frederic [2008].

With "Company B" [1991] Paul Taylor juxtaposes grim war

against a rush to grasp fun before it is snatched away. Set on recorded popular

songs sung by the Andrew Sisters throughout the 1940s, it's sunny, upbeat and

carefree until the shocking instant the bugler is shot at the frenzied close of

"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)."

From beginning to end "Steps in Time" delivers an artistic,

cultural and social view of the world while showcasing professional quality on

a university stage.

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