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New Light Shed on Older Works in Dance Kaleidoscope's Moving Sculptures: Dancing Through Light and Shadow

by Rita Kohn
October 20, 2016
Indiana Repertory Theatre
140 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 635-5252
This article was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis; IN. Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
Dance Kaleidoscope’s sensual, spirited season-opener Moving Sculptures: Dancing Through Light and Shadow exploded over Indiana Repertory Theatre’s OneAmerica Stage on October 20 featuring three repertory favorites re-imagined. Laura E. Glover’s deeply contrasting lighting set the tone for looking at, and experiencing, each of the works in “a different light.”

Highly architectural, each piece opened with a sculptural grouping of dancers. In each case the mass as a whole or as individual segments moved. In each case it was gripping. I had seen these pieces before and came to the theatre feeling I knew what to expect. Not so. I was at the edge of my seat throughout, and a day later I’m still processing my emotional response and the way their stories have changed.

Victoria Lyras’ “Capriccio Espagnol” (2009), which I have seen swathed in lush warmth, became breathtakingly macabre in Glover’s new stark lighting with DK's eleven dancers tearing into the work as a unit. Non-stop, on-toe and in perfect harmony the dancers performing to a score by Rimsky-Korsakov, seemed to float on air as if a Degas-bronze sprung into life. With heightened heartbeats, they defied the cold whiteness and the stark-grayness that pulled downward. The dancers "got it" —breaking free by means of being true to the moment. Reality not artifice, they were bonded with each other and the music. The pre-professional Indianapolis School of Ballet corps included: Abigail Bixler, Annie Hunt, Alexandra Jones, Mackenzie Kirk, Abby Marten, Claire Quint, Elaine Rand, Caroline Rettig, Abigail Robb, Hannah Schenck, Sydney Williams. Costumes by Loukia Finale and Victoria Lyras.

Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow” (2014) set to music by Jon Hopkins and Carbon Based Lifeforms, initially touched me when Dance Kaleidoscope premiered it. Here under a deeply shadowed lighting effect, it took me away from words into an entombed muteness. A man re-encounters his life and has no words for the depth of his hurt. Never again will I fail to reach out to "a loner" even though he/she seems to be content alone. DK dancers, in costumes by Motionwear, brought an immense depth to the repetitive relationships, rejections and relapses in the work. They went through a life at high pitch and in slow motion. Loneliness is stark, splintering coldness. Snow is all that’s left to touch the man on the bench facing the lake. All others receded into shadows.

David Hochoy’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” (2010), in my previous times seeing it, has been a bustling visit to a museum, people reflecting poses as they looked at watercolors by Viktor Hartmann, as translated into music by Modest Mussorgsky/Maurice Ravel. Take away all the warm colors of previous lighting and suddenly it’s not the people coming to the museum peering at what’s in the frames; it’s the people in the paintings stepping out of their frames co-mingling — their painterly colorations making new pictures as they move around each other in almost darkness. Only security lights cast a spot into which they entered and exited —massing, breaking away, re-configuring. Humor surfaces, as does pathos. There were sighs and exhortations, smiles and stern looks. Life as it was before the painter froze it. Similar to “Sunday in the Park…” but beyond it to something deeper within the soul. DK dancers took me into other places and have not yet let me come back to "as it was." The handpainted costumes for the work were by Cheryl Sparks.

The DK dancers performing “Lake Effect Snow” and “Pictures at an Exhibition” were: Jillian Godwin, Caitlin Negron, Timothy June, Zach Young, Brandon Comer, Noah Trulock, Aleksa Lukasiewicz, Emily Dyson, Missy Trulock, Stuart Coleman, Phillip Crawshaw and Marte Osiris Madera along with apprentices Mandy Milligan, Paige Robinson and Cody Miley and trainee Marie Kuhns.

Upcoming

Indianapolis School of Ballet
10th Anniversary The Nutcracker
For the first time in its history, the Indianapolis School of Ballet will perform with the world-renowned Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra when it presents its tenth-anniversary production of The Nutcracker December 16 – 18 at the Murat Theatre.
http://www.indyballet.org/the-nutcracker/
Thursday, December 15 at 7:30PM – Outreach Performance
Friday, December 16 at 7:30PM
Saturday, December 17 at 2:00PM
Sunday, December 18 at 3:00PM
Location
The Murat at The Old National Centre
502 N New Jersey St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Cost
Adult: $20 – $80
Child/Student/Senior: $15 – $75
Tickets
Full season at: www.indyballet.org/performances
See Also: www.carmelcitymagazine.com/Winter-2016-1/Carmels-Sister-Duo-to-Perform-in-Nutcracker

For Upcoming Dance Kaleidoscope programs visit: dancekal.org
Dance Kaleidoscope's Timothy June in David Hochoy’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'

Dance Kaleidoscope's Timothy June in David Hochoy’s "Pictures at an Exhibition."

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's Marie Kuhns and Marte Osiris Madera in David Hochoy’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'

Dance Kaleidoscope's Marie Kuhns and Marte Osiris Madera in David Hochoy’s "Pictures at an Exhibition."

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's Aleksa Lukasiewicz and Noah Trulock in David Hochoy’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'

Dance Kaleidoscope's Aleksa Lukasiewicz and Noah Trulock in David Hochoy’s "Pictures at an Exhibition."

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's Caitlin Negron, Brandon Comer, Emily Dyson and Timothy June in David Hochoy’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'

Dance Kaleidoscope's Caitlin Negron, Brandon Comer, Emily Dyson and Timothy June in David Hochoy’s "Pictures at an Exhibition."

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's Jillian Godwin in David Hochoy’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'

Dance Kaleidoscope's Jillian Godwin in David Hochoy’s "Pictures at an Exhibition."

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's dancers in David Hochoy’s 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'

Dance Kaleidoscope's dancers in David Hochoy’s "Pictures at an Exhibition."

Photo © & courtesy of Crowe's Eye Photography


Dance Kaleidoscope's dancers in Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow.”

Dance Kaleidoscope's dancers in Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow.”

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's dancers in Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow.”

Dance Kaleidoscope's dancers in Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow.”

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl


Dance Kaleidoscope's Noah Trulock and Stuart Coleman in Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow.”

Dance Kaleidoscope's Noah Trulock and Stuart Coleman in Brock Clawson’s “Lake Effect Snow.”

Photo © & courtesy of Chris Crawl

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