THE CHASE BROCK EXPERIENCE
November 30, 2017
With the exception of one work, a common thread throughout Chase Brock’s 10th Anniversary evening at the Clurman Theater is a sense of whimsy.
At once adept at costume design and choreography across platforms including musical theater, opera, TV and video games, Brock incorporates traditional and musical theater dance forms.
A quirky design sensibility is evident in all the pieces, where men frequently remove and replace their shirts. Brock’s costumes underscore each performer’s individual personality and style.
In the first piece, “The Song That I Sing; Meow so Pretty” (2014) Caleb Teicher, a stellar dancer with a natural comedic presence, stands out. A string of songs by the New Christy Minstrels suggest home-spun movements drawn from Appalachian dance as much as contemporary dance.
The most serious contribution was the world premiere “Men I’ve Known” to music by Erik Satie. Four men stretch away from each other in a line, until a gravitational pull draws them back together, and one after another drops into open, supportive arms. Simple and direct, the choreography suggests a sense of male unity and support--reminiscent of the days when so many died of AIDS in the arms of their loved ones. However, that image of a tangled relationships, culminating in a human embrace is universal.
In all of the remaining pieces, Broch demonstrated his talent at constructing engaging choreography to hummable music. And oh yes, his dancers actually acknowledge each other on stage.
Although Brock’s strong dancers add to the evening’s easy-going dances, the choreography doesn’t necessarily stay with you—but the ambiance does.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis