Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Company Dance Theatre boast new, remounted works

Published:Thursday | November 27, 2014 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe

It was a performance of perpetual movements. Along with great control and fine body extensions, members of The Company Dance Theatre moved the audience through a series of emotions from fright to joy.

Sunday’s show was the final of two shows scheduled for the 26th staging of the group’s season of dance. It boasted new and remounted works choreographed by artistic director Tony Wilson, Liane Williams, Renée McDonald and Pedro Bosch.

Bosch’s remounted ‘Viajeros’ (2000) saw Rochelle Kamieka and Steven Cornwall clothed in daywear of pants and shirt, delivering a fine performance. Together and individually, they traversed the stage of the Little Theatre with conviction.

McDonald’s ‘Divulgence’ was the second of the new works to be performed on the show. It was more than a dance. In a declaration of self, the all-female cast, dressed in full black, hair loose, and at times moving in rapid pace, entered and exited the stage while exploring various levels, in mainly straight-line formations. After charging towards the audience in a frightening manner, they fall on to the stage dramatically, thus ending what appeared to be a psycho dance.

Joy was returned with the audience’s most favourite dance, ‘Freeborn’, choreographed by Williams. In its premier appearance, the exciting dance was performed by a small group. In it, the choreographer seems to question what it means to be free.

‘Rebirth’ is choreographed to the uptempo Major Lazer and Amber Coffman’s beat. It starts with the group of dancers standing, and subsequently moving in clusters, except when a few break away, only to return to the group, in another area. Williams’ costumes of blue and cream colours were appropriate and pleasing to the eye.

Wilson was responsible for choreographing three of the dances, ‘Rebirth’, ‘Twilight’ and ‘Panorama’. His 2004 choreography, ‘Rebirth’, was the show opener.

Divided in six movements, ‘Rebirth’ began with the full company, and then shifted to soloist Lindsey Lodenquai. Lodenquai was a picture of grace, as she put on a show of amazing control and well-defined body extensions. In the third movement, the males showed off their talents. They were followed immediately by the females, and then a duet, before the full company returned to the stage for the ending of the dance.

Choreographed to John Williams’ instrumental composition, the other dancers also tapped in on the emotion, with clinical movements, a variety of formations as well as good exploration of levels. And as the dance progressed, the dancers abandoned panels of fabric of different shades, to reveal leotards for the females and short-fitting bottoms for the males.

The third of the three premiered works on the programme came in Wilson’s second dance, ‘Twilight’. In this dance, he remained true to his signature costume design, dress-in-less. Reminiscent of costumes worn in the opening dance (except for the colour) the mixed group danced beautifully to tell the story of couples meeting at twilight. Their effort was entertaining.

But Wilson’s best venture of the evening was ‘company favourite’ ‘Panorama’, the closing dance. Also comprised of six movements, ‘Panorama’ could be described as a collage of dance genres.

The delightful dance commenced with the dancers moving in high energy to the rhythms of two Jamaican folk songs. Movements two and three provided the gospel. However, it was movement five that generated the most excitement, as McDonald and Steven Cornwall danced their way into the hearts of the audience, when through convincing role play, they brought the words of Bob Marley’s Turn Your Lights Down Low to life. In the last movement, the company returned to give another high-energy performance to more folk music and ultimately ending a lovely show.