CEDAR LAKE CONTEMPORARY BALLET
May 28, 2012
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet danced a varied and compelling program at the Joyce
Theater on Saturday evening. These dancers are sleek, muscled, driven creatures who
dive into each work. As they explore and push the boundaries of their elegant and clear
ballet technique, they enter the world of each choreographer.
"Simply Marvel" by Regina van Berkel opened with Oscar Ramos making quiet waves
with his arms to the gentle introduction by Paganini. Wearing a crinkled top and knee
length smooth pants or smooth tops and crinkled skirts or shorts, designed by Ms. van
Berkel, the texture of the costumes matched perfectly with the choreography, providing
a layered effect. Soojin Choi and Matthew Rich, danced a duet of soft spirals, displaying
exquisite control. Acacia Schachte stood out for her facile pointe work and serene
presence. The dancers formed moving sculptures, building to a section of 'shaking'-
paroxysms of joy and musical acuity.
Alexander Ekman's "Tuplet," is an 18 minute exploration of sound, rhythm, and gesture
combined with film projections, perpetuated by the cast of six. It was performed to
strong effect as we hear the dancers -" ka, ka voom, pa pa, schwak, ta, ta ta dah"
- expressing their version of the sounds of their choreography. The open stage and
visible stagehands setting up didn't add very much, but once the dance began my 12
year old companion and I were spellbound!
The evening concluded with the enigmatic choreography of Jo Strømgren in a piece
called "Necessity, Again". Set to music by Charles Aznavour and Bergman Slaslien,
and text by Jaques Derrida, the piece juxtaposes the intellectual with the emotional.
The dance becomes a physical expression of the songs relating to the emotions
of desire, relative to the rational nature of daily life. Two dancer drag twine hung with
letters across the stage, eventually suspending them like a clothes line.....perhaps to
dry, or to be re- read, shared?
The lively Navarra Novy-Williams, Joaquim de Santana,
Vania Doutel Vaz and Ms. Schachte were notable for their clear characterization and
musical sensitivity. A stunning pas de deux sensually danced by Ms. Choi and Nickemil
Concepcion involving a table, turned into a pas de quatre, when two men joined,
creating even more possibilities. Mr. Rich and Ebony Williams performed a charming duet
where she attempted to escape his "literally beating heart" which pulsed so vividly we
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Elizabeth Sherlock-Lewis