SALAD: A FRESH MIX
By Tyann Clement, Copyright 2004 Pointe Magazine
Every spring, Houston's dance audience
is treated to a weekend of performances by dance companies from
around the world at the Dance Salad festival. The Royal Danish Ballet,
Quasar Companhia de Dança (from Brazil), City Contemporary
Dance Company (from Hong Kong), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and
Nederlands Dans Theater II were among the troupes represented this
year at the Cullen Theater in the Wortham Center, April 8-10. The
program was long, but not without inspiration.
NDT II dancers Valentina Scaglia and
Alejandro Martinez were superb in Jirí Kylián's 27'52"
pas de deux. The movement contained such great contrast, almost
violent at times, but then controlled and smooth. It offered a lesson
in action and reaction; and the dancers’ phrasing and punctuation
seemed as natural as breathing.
Cheryl Mann and Tobin Del Cuore, of Hubbard
Street, also stood out in Nacho Duato's Cor Perdut. Not
an inch of the stage went unused. The choreography was expansive,
yet centered, and the pair displayed a beautiful freedom in their
upper bodies. They danced with so much heart that the audience could
hardly contain itself.
Henrique Rodovalho's choreography for
Choreography for Listening presented a feast for the eyes.
It also pushed his dancers, Lavinia Bizotto, James Nunes and Gleidson
Vigne, of Quasar, to the limit. But this fearless trio met the challenge
head on, executing full height jumps from prone positions on the
floor with no preparation and in complete unison. Both the piece
and the dancers were intensely musical, and the cast displayed amazing
quickness and control. Listening was funny and sexy in
the most subtle ways and generated athletic excitement from beginning
The most creative piece of the evening,
however, was Paul Lightfoot's Shutter Shut, for NDT II.
It was a playful word game with movement set to text by Gertrude
Stein. The dancers, who looked almost like mimes in their black-and-white
costumes, were precise with excellent comedic timing. This piece
left viewers wanting more.
A common thread connected all these choreographers,
although their styles varied greatly. All communicated the intent
or feeling of their work through movement, so the dancers looked
natural and never appeared to be "acting." This honesty
was wonderful to watch.
Tyann Clement is a soloist with Houston
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