THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

<em>Stellard Matter</em>&nbsp;by Dwight Rhoden

Review: Spring Dance Concert | SMU Meadows School of the Arts | Bob Hope Theatre (SMU)


Bold Indeed

Southern Methodist University's Meadows Dance Ensemble excelled with three new works in its Spring Concert.



published Thursday, April 4, 2019

Photo: Paul Phillips
Heroes by Takehiro Ueyama

 

Complex, polished, engrossing: three words describing three works from SMU’s 2019 Spring Dance Concert this past weekend. Their presentation of Telling Bold Stories delivered a handful of pieces from a phenomenal list of guest artists. Well organized and produced, the night immersed viewers into a diverse exploration of movement, emotion, and thoughtful themes.

To open the show, Japanese-American choreographer Takeiro Ueyama employed dramatic lighting, athletic movement phrases, and mesmerizing repetition in Heroes. Beginning with a trail of dancers walking monotonously across a line of white chairs with raised fists, a serious, brooding tone emerged. Their bold, red suit jackets mirrored the aggressiveness of the dancers’ sudden hurls to the floor. Fearlessly, they threw themselves at partners who lifted, pushed, and threw their bodies across the space. Wild spirals and expansive jumps propelled a vivacious momentum that continued throughout the work. Just when the stage appeared to settle, a mover would disrupt the calm by flinging themselves into the arms of an unsuspecting partner. I was truly impressed with the group’s ability to maintain a sense of reckless abandonment through the lengthy piece—I never once questioned their energy or dynamic levels. Adding to the dramatic mood was the sensational lighting design—including haunting pools of spotlight, shadowed sections, and an excruciatingly slow, yet completely appropriate fade-out in the end. Ueyama’s piece not only highlighted his creative brilliance, but also showcased the maturity of his cast.

For a change of pace, viewers traveled back to the 1920’s in A Rhapsody in Blue. Complete with flapper dresses, crisp suits and of course, George Gershwin’s iconic score, the production felt like a Broadway musical minus the vocal accompaniment—complete with star-crossed lovers, comedic policemen, and a sea of ambitious immigrants. Thanks to his background in choreographing and directing Broadway shows, guest choreographer Alex Sanchez blended together an exciting mixture of ballet, pointe-work, jazz, and tap. With a cast of thirty dancers, the stage teemed with cheerful smiles, chipper skips, and bouncy kicks. Thoroughly entertaining, the work succeeded in merging cheeky, characterized gestures (like the wobbly knees of a lovestruck shoemaker) with technically challenging partner work. While the large group sections proved highly entertaining and visually stimulating, I longed for a more climactic end duet and cohesive finale.

In a dramatic finish, renowned choreographer Dwight Rhoden of Complexions Contemporary Ballet presented Stellar Matter. This demanding contemporary ballet piece was inspired by Rhoden’s exploration of the cosmos—the mysteries, forces, and liveliness of planetary relations. Taking cues from Gustav Holst’s combative score, the dancers sliced and glided through angular shapes and assertive balances. Once again featuring a large cast of over twenty dancers, the stage filled with movers in silver and black costumes complete with planetary ring-like tutus. A robotic quality emerged from the flexed wrists and stiff direction changes—implying an alien aesthetic. Rhoden certainly did not hold back in his use of technically difficult choreography. At times, the quick, sharp, and highly skilled movement phrases proved to be too much for the dancers. However, where their intensity levels lacked, the group compensated with precise shapes and structured formations. One particularly stunning moment occurred as the lights shifted into a golden yellow, and mirroring trios arranged themselves into intriguing clumps of leg extensions. This striking arrangement reminded me of the structural creativity found in George Balanchine’s Agon. Because of the fluctuating dynamics, fascinating shapes, and sheer technicality of the work, Stellar Matter ended the evening on a high note. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Bold Indeed
Southern Methodist University's Meadows Dance Ensemble excelled with three new works in its Spring Concert.
by Emily Sese

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie Avant Chamber Ballet Sistas Undermain Wild Party Latinidades Dallas Opera The Sleeping Beauty Theatre Arlington Billie holiday at Sugar Hill Firehouse Theatre Cats TCU MCL Grand UNT College of Music KD Studios Melinda Massie
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit