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Indiana Repertory Theatre
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Indianapolis, IN
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Impassioned performances mark Dance Kaleidoscope's 20th Anniversary Production of Carmina Burana

by Rita Kohn
October 25, 2014
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.
The audience was primed; the dancers were pumped. It was one of those special events in dance when diverse generations meet each other in the tradition of passing the legacy. Award-winning designer Barry Doss was back to witness how amazingly fresh his costumes look, vividly evoking the early centuries of Christiandom. To our delight Laura E. Glover continues to be on hand to recreate the lighting that pulses with the amazing choreography this new cast embraced, emboldened and embellished.

At the Oct. 25th performance of Dance Kaleidoscope's Carmina Burana, watching the younger dancers stepping into Carl Orff's music alternately throbbing and thrilling with passion and yearning, it became clear the humor and comedic elements were being ramped up, thus creating sharper contrasts between the lighter and darker episodes.

The arc of lusty dancing unfolded in the form of a new DK company, and we were thrilled witnessing the evolvement from the opening lamentation about the wiles of "Fortune, Empress of the World" to its haunting repetition at the close. Here we have the story of ancient clerics who abandoned their vows to travel the countryside in pursuit of 'wine, women and song' and who depended on 'the wheel of fortune' in place of monastic rigors to order their lives. The company seamlessly sustained the demands of artistic director David Hochoy's impassioned choreography. Everyone got star turns with solos, partnering and precise corps work.

Fabric provided metaphors and symbols throughout. When Liberty Harris transformed from illusions to the sacrificial binding of Isaac to The Madonna and then reappeared as the Woman in Cardinal Red, we held her in our hearts as she closed her 14-year DK tenure.

And then at the very end, when the flow of fabric fashioned a rainbow, we felt the promise to Noah—it's through our personal and collective vision for a better world that the prism can spark forth goodness.

With each succeeding generation of DK dancers keeping the choreography in their "bodies and souls" new audiences can connect with this work that Hochoy believes defines DK as a Company.

The evening opened in traditional fashion with a light-hearted 'appetizer' to transform the theatre into a space apart from the hubbub of life outside. We've dealt with traffic and parking to get here, we need something to calm us into a different moment. That's exactly what the world premiere of Victoria Lyras' Rondo Capriccioso did.

Eleven Indianapolis School of Ballet dancers carried us into smiling with their youthful joyfulness in concert with Camille Saint-Saëns sprightly changeups traversing flowing calmness, quick, short runs, springing steps and high jumps.

In the tradition of Balanchine, it looked easy yet required meticulous musicality and technique to emulate Saint-Saëns' precise rhythmic and harmonic themes. [Costumes by Loukia Finale]

During the pre-show conversation Hochoy noted that on Oct. 22, at the David H. Koch Theater, Alexei Ratmansky's Rondo Capriccioso opened the program marking the 10th Anniversary of the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. "We're in league with New York," he quipped.

Elizabeth Shea's modern dance Minor Bodies(2013), choreographed on music by Max Richter and Ola Gjeilo, foreshadowed the intent of Carmina Burana with two dancers interweaving and interlocking, downward, upward, seeking and searching.

Liberty Harris beautifully reprised Hochoy's 1997 E'vry Time We Say Goodbye, music by Cole Porter, vocals by Annie Lennox, to close out the opening segment of an emotionally charged program.
Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's 'Carmina Burana'.

Dance Kaleidoscope in David Hochoy's "Carmina Burana".

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography

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