The French Connection
Four disparate works interlinked intrinsically and intellectually for a strong Dance Kaleidoscope concert thematically titled The French Connection March 20-23 at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
Imaginative choreography refracted human conditions generically and specifically. While conflict edged in varying degrees throughout, total social disintegration of a culture particularized the opening piece with its herd-like precision of bodies in molecular-like synthesis and antithesis.
Wien, with diffused lighting by David Finley and everyday costumes by Russ Vogler, showcased the 11-member company in exciting crowding exactness.
Former DK member Eric Yow staged Pascal Riout’s original 1995 choreography set on Ravel’s La Valse. Midway into this “trail of failed humanity” the fire alarm sounded. The audience was so engaged, we didn’t move, thinking it part of the work. Not until the curtain rang down did we “proceed calmly out the nearest exit.” Even the “false alarm” seemed integral as we listened to David Hochoy’s commentaries while waiting for the computerized sound and light program to be reset for the dance to continue.
This incident definitely colored perceptions of Cynthia Pratt’s Tangled Web (world premiere), examining paired relationships spinning from a main white costumed mass in tenuously linear juxtapositions. In contrast with Wien’s feel as a whirl of liquid sucked downward, Tangled Web cuts, separates and re-clicks to Yann Tiersen’s music. What warning signals do we not heed in everyday interactions? Do we obediently “herd” toward personal exits that are no-exits? In these opening and closing works the full company showed its organic corps strengths.
Hochoy’s choreography was equally delineated through his re-staging of his 1996 Au Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, an insightful examination of the life and art of Toulouse-Lautrec in late 19th century Paris, and a new concept set on Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun (world premiere). In both works Hochoy shows us an individual’s perception of the world from beneath-the-knee vistas. While Kenoth Shane Patton’s Lautrec shouts with his vibrant poster energy and whimpers in dwarf despair as a flamboyant society crowds him out, George Salinas’ “Faun” flexes muscularity and chooses self-actualization over secularity of flesh in a bodily cathedral-gym setting.
Laura E. Glover’s lighting and Cheryl Sparks’ costumes as always pair well with Pratt and Hochoy.