Sunday, March 21, 2010

Three by Dove and One by Quijada

My eldest daughter and I went to the ballet last night. We had great seats. She takes ballet and I thought it time for her to see something more cutting edge than "The Sleeping Beauty," "Swan Lake," or "The Nutcracker." Those are all good ballets to watch when done well, but it was time to mix it up so to speak.

Ulysses Dove was an independent choreographer who combined modern dance and ballet flawlessly in my opinion. The first Dove vignette entitled "Vespers" was based on memories of Dove's grandmother and the women that she worshipped with in a small wooden building. The dance was modern and balletic at the same time and involved quite a bit of balancing and coordinated dance movements using wooden chairs as props.

The next dance entitled "Red Angels" used only four dancers, usually on-stage two at a time, and clothed in red leotards. Dove chose red for this number because for him "...the angels of the senses are red." Thrilling and athletic with a bit of the demon vs. angel thrown in. My only complaint, it was too short.

"Serious Pleasures" was the last dance performed. It was described in the program as "a merciless battle between spirit and flesh." I should add, layers of sexuality that thankfully went over the head of my ten-year-old. This may sound odd, but the set and dance moves were part underground gay bar and S&M dungeon, but in a pleasing and aesthetic way although I know that must be very difficult to imagine.
Victor Quijada is an artistic director and choreographer mostly of hip hop and to see hip hop and ballet combined was quite an original experience. The stage was "stripped." All of the staging curtains were up, exposing behind stage lights, ladders, scaffolding and such and the dancers wore street clothes. The stage began to curtain towards the end of the dance and was fully curtained when the dancers moved off of the stage.

I am one of those people who is really moved by certain types of artistic expression. Often I am moved by different kinds of dance. Generally I am moved in some way or another by artistic expression in any form as long as it is well-done.

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