REPERTORY DANCE THEATRE.
Choreographers, composers, writers, and visual artists successfully collaborated with Utah's Repertory Dance Theater on "Landscape Suite," a four-part exploration of the state's natural bounty. RDT Artistic Director Linda C. Smith, a Utah native, led the thirty-five-year-old, nine-member company in producing a suite of works dedicated to the Western landscape. The program included text from four writers, including Terry Tempest Williams, which described the mystery and power of the natural world, and eloquently coincided with the choreographers' intent.
Nature photographer Stephen Trimble provided a brief visual introduction to the opening piece, Watermark, with vivid images of rippling water and rushing streams projected onto a large screen. Ford Evans's innovative choreography elegantly celebrated the free-flowing spirit of Utah's lakes and wetlands as the dancers alternated levels, bobbed in wave-like fashion, and created series of chain-reaction ripples along diagonal formations.
New RDT company members Nathan Balser and Wen-chung Lin demonstrated remarkable strength and control as they took turns sliding underneath and past each other in a series of intricate floor movements. The chemistry between Chara Huckins and Jim Moreno created the illusion of pouring water; theirs was a partnership of giving and taking, swirling meaningfully from one movement to the next, and peacefully pouring onto the floor and into the wings.
Margaret Jenkins's Liquid Interior commemorated Utah's Great Basin with an abstract interpretation of the stirring silence and undefined boundaries of the massive desert landmark. Phillip Bimstein's score developed from silence into electronic sound effects and echoes. Jenkins's choreography juxtaposed quiet, pensive solo moments with bold and powerful group unisons as Nicholas Cavallaro's lighting design shifted from harsh shadows to bright light. The eight dancers maintained a unified relationship, initiated by visual cues amid the chaotic sounds.
Choreographer Zvi Gotheiner braved the steep terrain of the Utah/Colorado Plateau in Erosion. The dancers ran to the edge of the stage and stared intensely out at the audience, as if teetering on the edge of a high precipice. Gotheiner created a turbulent climax as the dancers gradually stretched strips of red ribbon from the wings onto the stage, releasing each ribbon at the height of its tension.
Against the silhouette of a mountainscape and the angry, flashing lights of a thundering night sky, eight dancers captured the expansive, playful style of choreographer David Parsons in Summit. This celebration of Utah's mountains and forests featured petite powerhouse Ruping Wang in her first season with RDT. Wang danced with a jovial, uninhibited style and vigor.
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|Author:||PETERSON, JESSICA ROMINE|
|Article Type:||Dance Review|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2001|
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