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Rita Kohn
Performance Reviews
Modern/Contemporary
Indiana Repertory Theatre
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Indiana
Indianapolis, IN
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Dance Kaleidoscope Program Celebrates Shakespeare

by Rita Kohn
March 29, 2012
Indiana Repertory Theatre
140 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 635-5252
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Dance Kaleidoscope's All the World's A Stage was a challenging and courageous program with premiere works choreographed by Norman Walker, to newly commissioned music by Frank Felice, and by David Hochoy, to music initially composed by Tchaikovsky in 1869.

Felice composed rapidly within the past six months based on Walker's 10-segment outline representing an interpretation of a poet's "Remembrance of Things Past" with spoken lines culled from Shakespeare's sonnets.

Tchaikovsky re-wrote his "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture" three times before his final now familiar score premiered in 1886. Thus, we witnessed two very different choreographic approaches for which DK's dancers magnificently proved their mettle.

Felice merged his electro-acoustic music style with 17th century period music to catapult the poet's wistful and sarcastic verse into a score upon which Walker could build his three stories with a prologue and epilogue. Opening with the Poet, portrayed by Kenoth Shane Patton, surveying his lifelong output as a writer, his memory first recalls thoughts of a "Young Beloved" toyingly portrayed by Zach Young. From this wistfulness of youth grows unsettling confrontations with the "Dark Lady", passionately portrayed by Liberty Harris and of the "Rival Poet" stridently portrayed by Timothy June. With the Poet's death, the epilogue shows "his work becomes the monument to his life" as we watch familiar characters circle into the ether of our consciousness.

The power of the music and the poetry, and the passion of the company of ten dancers are further enhanced by the swirl of colors of period costumes created by Cheryl Sparks and the subtle lighting by Laura E. Glover.

Hochoy's approach to his Romeo and Juliet Fantasy was to plumb universal truths within well-known music built not as a linear story of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, but rather as a symphonic poem Tchaikovsky framed with an introduction and epilogue based on three main themes: Friar Lawrence embodying foreboding doom; a history of agitated warring between the Capulets and Montagues; and youthful love leading to doom and remorse.

Hochoy interpolated three sets of lovers taking us through a lifetime of emotions in less than an hour. Melanie Schreiber and Brandon Comer shimmered in the discovery of each other; Mariel Greenlee and Timothy June radiated breadths of love and Jillian Godwin and Zach Young struck depths of loss.

Wearing opaque costumes revealing their bodies, the company of eleven dancers took us into a fully developed world where love's fight to overcome hatred seems never-ending.
Kenoth Shane Patton in Norman Walker's 'Remembrance of Things Past'.

Kenoth Shane Patton in Norman Walker's "Remembrance of Things Past".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Liberty Harris in Norman Walker's 'Remembrance of Things Past'.

Liberty Harris in Norman Walker's "Remembrance of Things Past".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Kenoth Shane Patton and Liberty Harris in Norman Walker's 'Remembrance of Things Past'.

Kenoth Shane Patton and Liberty Harris in Norman Walker's "Remembrance of Things Past".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Mariel Greenlee and Tim June in David Hochoy's 'Romeo and Juliet Fantasy'.

Mariel Greenlee and Tim June in David Hochoy's "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Mariel Greenlee in David Hochoy's 'Romeo and Juliet Fantasy'.

Mariel Greenlee in David Hochoy's "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Melanie Schreiber and company in David Hochoy's 'Romeo and Juliet Fantasy'.

Melanie Schreiber and company in David Hochoy's "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


David Hochoy's 'Romeo and Juliet Fantasy'.

David Hochoy's "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography

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