SMUIN BALLET OVERVIEW
August 14, 2012
Strong dancers form the nucleus of the Smuin Ballet company. Their season at the Joyce Theater is composed of three contemporary pieces in an easy-viewing program that lasts just under two hours.
The program opens on the upbeat “Oh, Inverted World” (2010) by Try McIntyre, a popular choreographer and company director based in Boise, Idaho. Broken into eight sections, the dancers employ easy swinging moves braced by swift jumps, and elastic partnering that uses the bodies as a points of contact and projection. Performed to a score by The Shins, the company exudes a freshly scrubbed enthusiasm.
For a dip into the darker recesses of Ancient Greek tragedy, Michael Smuin’s Media (977) to a score by Samuel Barber compresses the story into a quintet. The wronged Medusa (Robin Semmelhack or Susan Roemer) drops into weighted movement telegraphing her dismay with the great warrior Jason (Joshua Reynolds or Jonathan Drummer) and his new prize, the young and beautiful Cresusa, Princess of Corinth (Janica Smith or Terez Dean).
Embittered by Jason’a decision to discard her in favor of beauty and more power, Medea unites with her sons (the strong John Speed Orr & Christian Squires) – who look like twins, dance in synchrony and are many years older than the adolescents in the original story.
Alas, the end is not pretty but the final piece “Soon These Two Worlds” to a lively score by Kronos Quartet from the recording of “Pieces of Africa” by Amy Seiwert (Smuin Ballet choreographer-in-residence) sends dancers surging through four sections shaded by bright sections and contemplative passages.
It’s an evening of amiable summer dance fare.
The Joyce Theater.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis