PETER QUANTZ/JODI GATES
June 4, 2012
Peter Quanz and Jodie Gates presented very different perspectives on
contemporary ballet at the Joyce Theater’s Gotham Dance Festival.
For Quanz, contemporary seemed to be an extension of ballet technique and
classical choreographic form. In contrast, Gates utilized the combination of the
articulation of modern and the lines of ballet as a vehicle for personal expression.
Q Dance, Peter Quanz’s company, founded in 2010 in Canada, is an intimate
group of technically proficient ballet dancers with exquisite physique. “In Tandem,”
had a minimalist set, tasteful costumes, and exciting music. But it primarily gave dancers an opportunity to show off. Yes, they are skilled, but in this piece, technique was a mask that disguised who the
dancers really are and what the choreography expressed.
In “Luminous,” the dancers, dressed in gold bodysuits against a stark black
background, were carried by bold music. True to their training, the dancers grazed
the top of every step, and the outside of every embrace. Although the dancing was impressive and the choreography well crafted, Quanz would benefit from incorporating movement experiences outside his comfort zone.
performed Jodie Gates’s first piece on the program, “Delicate Balance” took a different approach. While
utilizing the clean lines of these ballet-trained dancers, Gates integrated modern
dance principles to create an intimate, sensual world. Seamlessly transitioning from
solos to group work, to partnering duets, the dancers, dressed in earthy, pedestrian
costumes, fulfilled and embraced every moment of the choreography. The piece
began and ended with Chloe Felesina’s absolute abandonment and purpose on
stage. The company won favor, but Felesina, in particular, found the
delicate balance of technique and honest expression at the core of this fine
“Embellish,” Gates’s second work on the program demonstrated her light-hearted side. Performed by dancers from Colorado Ballet, “Embellish,” choreographed
to fast-paced classical music, was jam-packed with impressive technique that didn’t
overtake the dancers. Adam Still, who performed a number of solos, stood out as
a terrific performer and contemporary mover. Colorado Ballet performed this
neoclassical piece with verve.
Gotham Dance Festival presents the work of both emerging and
established choreographers at the Joyce Theater.