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Shake It: New Moves

Shifts, changes and diverse works abound this fall

By Julie Mullins · August 30th, 2006 · Shake It

Just as leaf colors are preparing to change, compelling shifts and displays of diversity are in store for the upcoming local dance scene this fall. Here are some highlights ... The leaves of CINCINNATI BALLET's most modern moments drift in with their annual mixed-rep program, New Works (Sept. 28-Oct. 8), which promises to be their season's most venturesome production and -- taking place in the company's own Mickey Jarson Kaplan Studios -- the most intimate. The featured works seem to have been selected with this close setting in mind; they strike me as rather personal in tone and content. Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Lost and Found, an emotionally charged view of 9/11, offers a look at a crisis' more humanistic side: the comfort of reaching out to others who share similar suffering. A sought-after choreographer of far-reaching talents, Taylor-Corbett has garnered accolades in dance styles besides ballet, including Tony nominations for her work on the Broadway hit Swing!. I expect a degree of theatricality in this one. A balance of male and female energies comes into play in a pair of works showcasing each gender: Acclaimed choreographer Kirk Peterson's Javelin, where Gods and mankind converge in a show of strength and spirit, a celebration of Olympian physicality and the classical Greek ideal.

For the women of the company, Viktor Kabaniaev has created Ozhedanye, loosely translated from Russian as "longing." Through music and movement Kabaniaev imaginatively seeks to display women's complexities in a contemporary abstraction of what is "feminine." Perhaps the most experimental work will be Traces, from the modernistic Luca Veggetti (who presented an intriguing work in last year's Festival), a multimedia piece exploring what remains once the ephemeral art of dance stops -- think images of shoe scuffs left behind. ...

MOVING ART DANCE COMPANY will be scaling back its season this year, but fortunately you can still catch them during the 20/20 Arts Festival (7-9 p.m. Oct. 5, Mr. Pitiful's), their lone appearance for the rest of '06. The new work's title Moving Art literally sums it up: dancers become moving sculptures to be viewed from all sides while their different poses are captured by a sketch artist. Citing personal and professional reasons for the company's performance reductions, founding Artistic Director Colleen McCarty explains, "I can't fit a full-time job into a hobby -- no one can. I don't want (Moving Art) to die. ...

A lot of people have worked very hard for this." She loves choreographing, performing and putting on shows, but is finding "the uphill battle here" too great to continue at the same pace. Fear not, an evening-length show is planned for March of '07. ...

Dance and theater go hand-in-hand in a newly-hatched partnership between EXHALE DANCE TRIBE and KNOW THEATRE. The two groups will join forces in Know's holiday production Christmas Yet To Come (Nov. 30-Dec. 23), a music-and-dance-flavored adaptation of that timeless Dickens tale -- you guessed it -- A Christmas Carol. No doubt Exhale's jazzy modern moves will help dust off this new version of an old favorite. Know is also slated to produce a show for Exhale in March. Call it the start of a beautiful friendship? ...

CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATER literally kicks off its Guest Artist Series with Dayton's own RHYTHM IN SHOES (Oct. 6-7). Their name aptly describes what audiences can expect: a rollicking, rhythmic romp, rounded out with a tapestry of tap dance, some swing tunes, clogging and a touch of hoe-down thrown in for a celebratory tour through all-American forms. The 20-year-strong troupe features its own band to accompany the dancers' journey into a dance heritage that's billed as "at once original and recognizable." CDT's second presentation takes a sharp turn in flavor and mood with H.T. CHEN AND DANCERS. Marking a change in their slated repertory, the longstanding New York-based ensemble will present Shift (Nov. 17-18), a surreal expedition delving into the world of dreamscapes. Considering that CDT's first two programs hit opposite ends of the stylistic spectrum, I wonder how much the audiences will overlap. Then again, CDT boasts reliable quality and a growing -- and loyal -- following.



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