Review by Roberta E. Zlokower
August 15, 2002
Originally Published on ExploreDance.com
Special Thanks to Andrew Faureau, Public Relations,
Jenneth Webster, Producer, and Illese Alexander, Production Stage Manager
Joan Myers Brown, Executive/Artistic Director
Kinesis: Music is Sinfonietta by Janácek. Choreographed by Milton Myers, using Lester Horton technique, I saw dancers leaping in elongated arabesques, almost in mirror images. The intoxicating music had hints of a flowing river, and these muscular dancers were adept in percussive, acrobatic movement. At times, they appeared as galloping stallions, with female dancers exhibiting an equally demanding physicality. The black unitards enhanced the often stark and dynamic nature of this ballet.
Suite Otis: Music is by Otis Redding. Choreographed by George Faison, this solidly Bluesy ballet is illustrated with vibrant pink, flowing dresses, with black floral shawls. Male dancers sport pink shirts, and the dancing is sexy and sassy. Satisfaction had a revival quality, and Try a Little Tenderness included passionate leaps with superb elevation, and interesting lighting effects. Dancers exuded a tremendous level of energy and enjoyment.
Gatekeepers: ("A story of homage, celebration and an acknowledgment of conscious continuity, interconnectedness, history, tradition, and perseverance.") Music is by Wunmi Olaiya. Choreographed by Ronald K. Brown, this electric rock ballet presented cartwheels and Martha Graham-like contractions and releases. Duos and trios, in black leotard costumes, exuberantly celebrated their intense muscularity and flexibility. A tribal quality was displayed in this most complicated, but connected, choreography.
Enemy Behind the Gates: ("A work that was inspired by the enemies that live within our midst.") Music is by Steve Reich. Choreographed by Christopher Huggins, with spins of lightning speed, sensational leaps, and sudden, electric changes in movement, this amazing ballet, in black and red coordinated costumes (also designed by Mr. Huggins), had intrinsic qualities of Martha Graham's primordial themes. On stage again were dancers in percussive, mirror images, in cross-like lifts, clapping and galloping in the crescendos of light and sound.
Philadanco Dancers, caught mid-flight, create their own Fauvist style of photo essay with the help of photo medium Roberta Zlokower.