Review: Dance Kaleidoscope's 'Cole!'

June 9, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

 

Using the material of one of the 20th-century’s greatest songwriters (one who happens to be a native Hoosier) as fodder for an evening of dance may seem like a no-brainer for a modern dance company.

But there are hidden challenges in the material, the largest of which is that many of these numbers are branded by other forms of dance. Try to picture anything but crazed tap dancing accompanying “Anything Goes,” for instance. Or shake the image of Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell owning the stage dancing to “Begin the Beguine.”

In “Cole!,” its season-closing production at the IRT, Dance Kaleidoscope wisely doesn’t bother competing with its iconic stage and screen predecessors. Instead, it makes its own amiable way through the Porter catalogue, briskly offering 16 numbers sans showstoppers but also free of duds.

The first act respectfully uses early versions of Porter recordings and the thin sounds seems to have had an effect on the dancers, who don’t pop as well as they do in the second half, featuring a more modern sound (by which to say the likes of David Byrne and The Thompson Twins are mixed with Sinatra, Armstrong and Fitzgerald).

There was a disconnect between the lyrics and the choreography for “Miss Otis Regrets,” but the number stood out as a crowd-pleaser.  As did the Act 1 closer to a choral “Wunderbar.”

In the midst of the playful spirit of the show, Liberty Harris danced a moving solo to Annie Lennox’s version of “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” made more powerful by the combo of lighting and choreography that boldly left her face largely hidden. And Brandon Comer and Timothy June’s “It’s All Right With Me” was an appropriate pairing for Pride Week.

Much of the spotlight in the show seemed to be on Comer, a 2nd year DK dancer poised to fill the space left by last season’s departures, Kenoth Shane Patton and George Salinas. During a Q&A during intermission (a plus during DK’s Thursday evening shows), artistic director David Hochoy responded to a question about Patton, pointing out that the life of a dance company comes from retiring dancing making room for new ones (I’m paraphrasing). He noted that more than 60 dancers have come through the company since he took over 21 years ago.

That’s a remarkable legacy. And one of the pleasures of a resident company—of which DK is a rare breed in this town—is seeing it evolve, constantly morphing.

One of the reasons we love sports so much is that we care about the players. A resident arts company can invoke the same loyalty while, in essence, creating its own long-form dance piece. Within that, some games are forgettable. Some are spectacular. Others are just entertaining.

Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • One other thought
    And that is being a resident company means that in many ways what we are, where we've been and where we are going is an expression of our community. Art indeed holds a mirror up to life, and in this case we are privileged to be creating work that reflects our life here in Indy!

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

ADVERTISEMENT