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Rita Kohn
Performance Reviews
Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
United States
Indianapolis, IN

Butler Ballet's Midwinter Dance Festival Sparkles

by Rita Kohn
February 15, 2013
Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University
4602 Sunset Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46208
This review was originally published in NUVO Newsweekly, Indianapolis, IN.

Rita Kohn is a member of the Board of the Dance Critics Association.
The latest edition of Butler Ballet's annual Midwinter Dance Festival featured Paul Taylor's "Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal)". The Keystone Cop-like romp through Stravinsky's vividly action-packed score in was executed with the expected verve and athleticism by a focused troupe who clearly understood the work's intent.

Professor Susan McGuire, a 12-year member of the Taylor Company, deftly placed the choreography on the Butler students as the repetiteur of a work that rarely is performed even by professional companies.

It most certainly was a coup for Butler Ballet to add "Le Sacre" to its repertoire.

Set to music by Mozart, choreographer Stephan Laurent's "Paris Symphony" moved dancers through gaiety and sadness and then back to a festive attitude.

Cynthia Pratt set a reflective appraisal of inter-relationships in her work "With The Whole Against the Sky". Set to the pulsing music of Valgeir Sigurosson, the piece opened with a tight circle from which some dancers emerged which led others in the circle to express individuality within the confines of group through a variety of enchanting and fluid movements.

Choreographer Michael J. Johnson brought anguish and resolution to James Mulholland's music set on Jimmy Rankin's poem in his "Fare Thee Well Love". Fine soloists along with a well-delineated corps de ballet punctuated the work's emotional impetus through a series of interweaving steps.

Derek Reid encapsulated coupling and individuality within groupings for an escalating set of activities to music by Steve Reich for the engaging "Rituals Inside the Lavender Haze" and Felix Mendelssohn's music showcased its militaristic undercurrent in Marek Cholewa's precision-packed rendition of "Dance of the Amazons" as an excerpt from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The program sparkled throughout, with fine lighting by Laura E. Glover and costumes by Kathleen Egan and Annette Corso Duncan.
Courtesy of Butler Ballet

Courtesy of Butler Ballet

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