Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

Modern dance revue puts a new spin on the holidays

A new classic? On Saturday the Barefoot Brigade presented "The NOTcracker" at the DMA.

Special to

Teachers and students from Fort Worth’s Dancing Outside the Box perform a dance named Questions during "The NOTcracker."   SPECIAL TO THE S-T/MATT NAGER

Teachers and students from Fort Worth’s Dancing Outside the Box perform a dance named Questions during "The NOTcracker."

Against the backdrop of tall windows accented by the colorful cascade of Dale Chihuly’s glass flower-bowls in the museum’s north atrium, nine contemporary dances were presented. Performers wore sporty warm-ups and rehearsal togs. Moods ran from serious to sentimental to silly.

Questions was danced happily by six teachers and students from Fort Worth’s Dancing Outside the Box, with Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind sung by David Tipps.

The Eclipse Project by Denton’s Satellite Dance Collective was an essay of orbits and attractions by Kihyoung Choi, Ellie Leonhardt and Leah Perison. In Loris Beckles’ Celebration for Kwanzaa, Tiffani Furlough, Tina Mullone and Christie Sullivan were poised and precise in unison, their ballet movements set to Abbey Lincoln’s Afro Blue.

Seven girls from Dallas’ Lisbon Elementary School were perky and pretty in traditional dresses dancing a gospel-African version of choruses from Handel’s Messiah.

Most performers were barefoot. Movement was personal and emotionally charged. Andrea Sheridan was taut in her psychological solo Reluctance. In her solo Close to the Bone, Sunghun Lim mimed an animal’s gait, her back arched with hands and feet pawing the floor. To the caressing phrases of Bach she kicked and torqued her body around; she stretched upward in graceful athletic lunges.

The audience sat at tables on the sides of a performance area on the polished concrete floor. People came and went as the show progressed.

In comic numbers, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth’s Sarah Newton made a sexy nuisance of herself in Stand Next to You. Phase 2 Dance Ensemble presented a holiday household drama. And in a sendup of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite by Dallas’ DeKaDance, the Chinese dance became a kung fu fight. Kate Walker was pulled around by a fan with a mind of its own during the Spanish dance, and as the Sugarplum Fairy she decided to hoard candy canes instead of passing them to children in the audience.