Jeanne MamLuft is a
brainy director and accomplished choreographer (and filmmaker), and
it shows. Latitude, at the Hanke 1 performance space on Main
Street, gives MamLuft & Co. Dance the latitude, or room for
maneuver, if you will, to present modern dance in a fresh way.
With imaginative but
rudimentary costumes and minimal sets and props, the ensemble cast of
The Sweet, Burning Yonder, directed by Michael Burnham,
brought John Ray’s often poetic, streaming language to vivid life
in its opening performance.
For many Cincinnati area audiences, dance means classical ballet — annual Nutcracker performances or perhaps Swan Lake. But Mario de la Nuez and Meridith Benson, co-artistic
directors of de la Dance Company, are trying to change all that with
performance evenings like DanceCincinnati2011.
I had just paid a thrifty $1.60 at the Coffee Emporium, and for that I got a paper cup of plain coffee and use of the restroom. Billed as a politically charged and extremely dark comedy, The Beasts seemed like something I could enjoy as well as review: one-man show, post-apocalyptic horror, and puppetry — what’s not to like? I couldn’t wait.
The 2011 Fringe’s presentation of The Body Speaks: Movement, choreographed and directed by Kim Popa and Lindsey Jones of Pones Inc is a small gem. Presented in seven overlapping vignettes, each one inspired by one of seven photos by Sean Dean, this short work (45 minutes) is entirely self-contained, creating its own language and making a statement with it. It should be on your list of shows not to miss.
In many ways the dancers in Rip in the Atmosphere (by Psophonia Dance Company from Houston) put on a good show. They are fit and committed to the movement they perform. Unfortunately, the whole endeavor seems more a display of those qualities than a solid presentation of choreographic merit, with a few exceptions.
At the opening performance of Cincinnati-based Performance Gallery’s entry into the 2011 Fringe mélange I was sometimes puzzled at the direction the show was taking. But my attention rarely wandered far from the 14 very competent actors onstage who appeared in situations ranging from the absurd to the tongue-in-cheek. Creative credits are too many to list, including scripting, directing, conceptualization and development.
Seems like the modern dance scene has always been a strong (if sometimes underground) and steady force in Cincinnati. A new facet in its ongoing evolution has recently opened up for creative types to express themselves. And thanks to the co-sponsorship of MamLuft & Co. Dance and longtime modern dance presenter Contemporary Dance Theater, it is all free! In this case, freedom's just another word for the Third Fridays Movement and Music Jam, debuting Friday at 6:30-8 p.m.