Thoughts on New Dances 2010

New Dances 2010, Thodos Dance Chicago‘s 10th annual showcase of company member’s choreography was presented at Columbia College last weekend.  The evening consisted of nine premieres — eight from TDC dancers and one from guest choreographers Stephanie Martinez Bennitt and Francisco Aviña.  Some were great, some were good, some had potential and some didn’t quite work — as it should be when combining veteran dance creators with first timers and less seasoned choreographers — but the dancers’ focus, talent and enthusiasm were the real stars of the show.

Stand outs:  dancers Natalie Tursi (petite with a powerful presence and technique) and Natalie Williams (beautiful long legs); Quieting the Clock by Martinez Bennitt and Aviña with its intricate partnering and wonderful imagery (*see pic below of dancers literally creating the image of a ticking clock); versus by Joshua Manculich had great costumes (loved the hoods!), lighting and an interesting contrast of stillness and pulsing and softness with intense yearning; and Wade Schaaf’s (Monet) haystack-inspired triad of solos Dancer, Net performed by Jackie Stewart that had her encased in fabric netting costumes (designed by Nathan Rohrer) and evolving from a statuesque Grecian goddess to a hardcore punkrocker in a chicken coop (set to Bjork, who will forever evoke birdness) to a quirky, almost featherless dying swan.

Kudos to all the hard work put in by Melissa and her crew!

"Quieting the Clock" by Stephanie Martinez Bennitt & Francisco Aviña. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

"Dancer, Net" by Wade Schaaf. Dancer Jackie Stewart. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

"versus" by Joshua manculich. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

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