Dance Review | What you missed COLE! explodes with fabulous dancing to inspired choreography. Opening their 30th season with the reprisal of David Hochoy"s 1997 work, Dance Kaleidoscope again demonstrated their strengths.
Dance Kaleidoscope dancer H. Bradley Cope in DK"s season opener "COLE!" which was performed last weekend.
DK"s diligence to the unity of production values never wavers. The troupe does indeed sweat the small stuff, and it is this attention to detail that makes COLE! such a satisfying performance experience - no matter how many times you see DK"s take on the unforgettable music and lyrics by Indiana"s own Cole Porter. The way Hochoy tells it, his initial hesitation to DK board member Richard Ford"s suggestion for a ballet based on Porter"s 1930-1950s work transformed into a hearty "do it" after listening to a recording made at the time Porter was very much alive. Aliveness is the operative word for this 50-minute romp through 16 songs that shimmer with love, skimming the spectrum of human experience. What a treat to hear the original recordings to the tempo of the time when the songs were conceived, and what a delight to enter into Hochoy"s interpretive world filled with twists, turns and taunting takes on timeless themes. Not once does Hochoy stoop to cliches. Instead, he teases and surprises, and the company rises to the challenge, demonstrating unfaltering truthfulness to the dancers, steps and routines of early- to mid-19-teens popular culture. And then they step up to the plate and hit every pitch in part two, when the interpretations are decidedly different - when edginess supplants mellow lyricism. Roberta Wong is so on with Josephine Baker"s rendition of "I"ve Got You Under My Skin." Lisa Long and Kenoth Shane Patton are Ginger and Fred to Steven Stolen"s wistful rendition of Rick Walters" arrangement of "Just One of Those Things." And Liberty Harris and Jessica Johnson are breathtaking in Hochoy"s amazingly insightful "It"s All Right With Me," stylized by Frank Sinatra. H. Bradley Cope struts his stuff in "Anything Goes," showing us what we can look forward to from this second-year member of the company, all of whom are truly "Wunderbar." So here"s to Andre Megerdichian, Rebecca Jones, Bethane Andrews and newcomer Aaron Selissen, who never disappoint. Miming as expertly as they dance, the company sells every song. Laura E. Glover"s lighting and Cheryl Sparks" costumes, as always, add so much to the entirety. In its Indiana premiere, Sound and Fury, which Hochoy choreographed for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, did not quite catch fire. While the premise, investigating the seeds of human aggression, is worthy, the outcome falls short of affective commentary. While it may be that in Oregon the work was presented out of doors in natural light and the space permitted a less horizontal presentation, what patrons witnessed on Oct. 6 at the Indianapolis Civic Theatre was a darkly-lit combination of familiar Hochoy moves. For this viewer, the question arose, is Hochoy still struggling with emotions to Sept. 11, "01, and as a result could not bring forward the freshness of approach that has distinguished his previous work?