Morris is doing his usual brainteasing.
Set to music by Donizetti, Quincunx (Place des Arts, Montreal, March 16-18, 1995) seems lax and unfocused, as if ballet's bad boy had run out of dance direction. Dainty and romantic with plenty of emphasis on limpid lines and billowing curves, it makes peripheral visual and aural jokes. It pays lip service to the classics with a sheer veneer that is deliberately fractured by renegade forays into break-all-the-rules contemporary ballet. It gives the impression of being a very well designed, formal ballet, yet for all its form Quincunx lacks purpose and substance. Morris's second ballet for the only Canadian company he has worked with, Quincunx is unfortunate puffery.
Aside from looking occasionally insecure with Quincunx's ambiguity, Les Grands' dancers attack with verve and speed. Under director Lawrence Rhodes, they are an increasingly tight and proficient group, with a special talent for storming the portals of contemporary ballet. They are particularly good when interpreting European choreographers like Jiri Kylian, whose Stepping Stones on the same program was stunningly defined by a stellar cast led by Anik Bissonnette.
Founded in 1959, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba consists of more than sixty dancers trying, under current general director Miguel Iglesias, to create a distinct Cuban style of modern dance. But, as seen in a long program of seven works presented by a third of the company in Toronto (Premiere Dance Theatre, April 4-8, 1995), the company is a long way from achieving that goal.
The dancers themselves varied in stature and moved well enough. The problem lay rather in choreography that tended to cliches and went nowhere. Gestural vocabulary was often quirky and fast-paced, but unclear. The scantily clothed or naked dancers inevitably moved from darkness to light. Best of the lot were Narciso Medina's colorful street characters in Genesis, and Lidice Nunez's dark, masculine Trastornados ("Madness") convulsed by inner turmoil. But even they seemed to get lost somewhere along the way.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Place des Arts, Montreal, Canada|
|Article Type:||Dance Review|
|Date:||Jul 1, 1995|
|Previous Article:||Madame Butterfly.|
|Next Article:||Los Angeles Dance Theatre.|
|Etoiles shine for charity in Montreal.|
|LUSTY `CARMEN' WOOS VIEWERS.|
|Entertainment in Spades.|
|Fall preview and calendar: September 1-December 15, 2003.|
|Carol Richards receives OMD's Salk Award.|