THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

Director\'s Choice 2018 at Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Review: Director's Choice | Dallas Black Dance Theatre | Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre


Time On Their Side

Dallas Black Dance Theatre delivered a fantastic Director's Choice concert, with exciting new works and pieces from their repertoire.



published Thursday, November 8, 2018

Photo: Amitava Sarkar
Director's Choice 2018 at Dallas Black Dance Theatre

 

Dallas — Under newly appointed Artistic Director Melissa M. Young, Dallas Black Dance Theatre continues to astound audiences with their athleticism, versatility, and rich content. Their annual Director’s Choice combined tried and true repertoire with a world premiere and a DBDT premiere. In contrast to previous years, this Director’s Choice only contained performances from DBDT, and did not feature other guest companies—a successful move on their end.

Although the program did not feature dancers from other local companies, there was no shortage of guest choreographers—the first being Bruce Woods Dance’s Artistic Director Joy Bollinger. In the world premiere of This Time, dancers in simple white tops and black shorts swayed gently in a clump at the center of the stage. Gradually, their rocking motions escalated into reaching arms and bigger swings as duets and solos broke away from the clump. Partnered with ethereal music from Olafur Arnalds, a cheerful, light atmosphere emerged. DBDT’s usual powerhouse aesthetic took a backseat to a softer, more authentic appearance. The company plunged into this new movement quality with ease—floating in weightless lifts, waving their arms above their heads, and lightly gliding from one formation to the next. The second movement revealed a breathtaking duet between Lailah Duke and Xaiver Mack. Taking a detour from the happy tone of the beginning, the couple emitted a heart-wrenching mood from their tender forehead touches and desperate wrist pulls. At first appearing to share leading/following roles, they managed to bend and fall in sync with one another. However, as the duet progressed, the repetitive phrases became wilder as Mack struggled to keep up with an explosive Duke—marking a shift in their relationship. These subtleties give This Time vulnerability and honesty throughout the rich choreographic phrases.

A menacing straight line of dancers in bold, red shorts and sports bras signaled the opening of Lily Cabatu Weiss’ Thrown for a Loop. Individually, the movers stepped forward into deep lunges and rapid, compact turns. Fisted hands and springy leaps paired with sharp, slicing arms and jabbing feet provoked a confrontational, battle-like attitude. In a commanding unison section, a “fingers crossed” motif permeated the tough, combative choreography. The whirlwind work ended a bit too abruptly as dancers froze their bodies in X shapes—leaving me yearning for more resolution.

Despite being a decade older than the other pieces in DBDT’s program, Absolute Rule carried the same fervor and intensity (if not more) as its newer companions. Originally choreographed by Elisa Monte and David Brown, this duet captured a dramatic and captivating relationship between Sierra Noelle Jones and Claude Alexander III. Highlighting both dancers’ athleticism and technical abilities, the duet drew viewers’ attention with stretched extensions, stressful falls and catches, and intriguing spatial choices. Jones and Alexander fought to manipulate their partner—thrusting their hips aggressively, skittering across the floor, yanking arms and legs. The incredible focus of the couple along with their constant push to the extreme led to a tense and satisfyingly invasive work.

Bodies as Site of Faith and Protest began with the curtain still closed, and voices wafting from the wings of the theater. Thirteen dancers in 1960s attire strolled onto the front panel of the stage singing “We Shall Overcome,” in reference to Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech. The performers vocalized the song with conviction as they held hands—united. Once the curtains opened, they released hands and jumped in to a forceful unison phrase full of grasping hands, spastic turns, and cutting arms. As they stepped solemnly into a clump, Dr. King’s voice echoed throughout the theater and frenzied duets deserted the comparably somber group. This calculated, understated clump provided a stark contrast to the chaotic flails, leaps, and falls of those who broke away. Mirroring the climactic score by Greg Smith, the piece exploded into an angry flurry of turns and shaking arms before returning to the peaceful melody of the introduction. In the second DBDT premiere of the evening, Tommie-Waheed Evans’ piece was both compelling and increasingly relevant. 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
Time On Their Side
Dallas Black Dance Theatre delivered a fantastic Director's Choice concert, with exciting new works and pieces from their repertoire.
by Emily Sese

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Melinda Massie Fort Worth Symphony Home for the Holidays John Williams Christmas Noel CCBT The Nutcracker Great Distance Home Cliburn Holiday Concert Package Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Black Nativity Stage West Undermain Theatre Uptown Players MCL Grand Cara Mia Riders in the Sky KD Studios UNT College of Music UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial 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