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Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Joyce Theater, Nov. 13 – 25, 2012

December 20, 2012
Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Edgar Anido

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Edgar Anido. Photo by Jae Man Joo

I enjoyed the Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s 2012 season so much more than last year’s season. I found the choreography and performances more alive and innovated…This was just a great dance program

Now, with that said, the first offering for the evening was the World Premiere of Camille A. Brown’s Memories, commissioned by the Joyce. The music was improvisation based on You Taught My Heart to Sing by McCoy Turner and Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time and performed on guitar by Nick Demopoulos..

Something about this piece just did not work for me, the movements were slightly hoe-down, one step forward then a step back with the arms slightly bent and matching the movement, reminded me of athletic Square Dancing. The piece was a duet, performed wonderfully by Samantha Figgins and Gary W. Jetters, ll.

It just that everything on the stage was too busy…I longed for a simplicity that Mr. Demopoulos playing called for. There was a frantic element in the kinetic energies on the stage that would have been solved it the work had been performed by just the musician and a single dancer on stage. The piece would then have had an intimacy that I felt it lacked. But in all fairness it’s a new work that needs time to grow, it has potential…but it needs some tweaking here and there…

Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Bill Hebert

Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Photo by Bill Hebert

Dwight Rhoden’s Testament was a different story entirely. The dancers performed an excerpt of the longer work the Mr. Rhoden created in 2011. Natalia Alonso and Tercell Waters were perfectly matched, their dancing a seamless melding of body and soul. There is continual contact between the two dangers as if reluctant to let go. Mr. Waters surrendered to his passion of in this work, matching the intensity of the music, his amazing extensions sweeping up to God.

Jae Man Joo’s Flight, set to the music J.S. Bach, is an intricate and intense work that is fascinating to witness. As it beginning we find Mark Caserta on stage in a pool of light, the supple movement of his upper torso was a thing of wonder, facing away from the audience he executed a series of slow moves that had the muscles rippling on his back, rolling and undulating as if of their own accord. Mr. Caserta has a beautiful lyricism to his movements that allows him to flows like honey from one shape to the next. His arms and feet are in constant motion; he executes a flawless pirouette of multiple turns, landing in a wide forth and arches his back as a majestic sweep of his arms flows over his head and stretches behind him.

The lights fade on Mr. Caserta and we find Norbert De La Cruz, lll in a separate pool of light. Unfortunately the movements of Mr. De La Cruz did not match the physicality and lyricism of Mr. Caserta’s solo.  With that said Jae Man Joo’s Flight is a work of maturity and brilliance that I hope to be able to see again.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s  Edgar Anido

Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Edgar Anido. Photo by Liza Voll

Dwight Rhoden’s Subject to Change is listed in the program as an excerpt, but if this excerpt is any indication of what’s to come, I can’t wait to see the rest. Subject to Change is a moodier and darker work of contemplation, a duet performed brilliantly by Christina Dooling and Edgar Anido. The music is ELEW’s masterful rendition of Linkin Park’s ‘Crawling’.

Ms. Dooling and Mr. Anido movements are fluid and constant; reaching for each other as if seeking to maintain an intimacy they both crave and fear as they weave in and around each. The dancers move forever within a pool of white light, the darkness hovering just at the edge, always staying within a place of safety away from any unknowns.

The dancer seem to come together only to part and then come back together again. At the heart is the study of dysfunction and relationships for there is an invisible thread that magnetically attaches Ms. Cooling to Mr. Anido that both pulls them and repels them at the same time. They are unable to part whey they try, and in the end Ms. Dooling is lifted into the air by Mr. Anido, she slides down his body and reaches out with the sad acknowledgement of the inevitable.

I cannot sing the praises of Edgar Anido loud enough. He does not just dance but explodes into his movements with complete control. You can see the purity of his classical training in his every move. I encourage you to see him dance…you will not be disappointed.

Complexion Contemporary Ballet has some of the most exciting and gifted dancers the States have to offer. If you want to see great dancing by beautifully talented dancers this is the company to see….

From → Ballet, Dance

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