2011 Spring Dance Concert from Chapman University Student Choreographers
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The last date listed for 2011 Spring Dance Concert was Saturday May 14, 2011 / 2:00pm.
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A visual feast of color and patterns and an energetic explosion of drumming and dance, Balé… More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Ron
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Chapman University’s “Spring Dance Concert” was a revelation, proving that selection and training in the Department of Dance is equal to that of the best international schools, and superior to most dance companies.
There wasn’t a failed piece or performance in all nine presentations. Each had many astonishing movements and sustained intense moments. Several were superb.
Music selection, mixing, sound, lighting, and costumes were at a professional level…good quality professional.
Individually, and as an ensemble, the dancers were flawless, often doing miraculous, physically impossible things with their body parts. They usually appeared weightless. Of course, the dancers could not all be equally skilled, but they seemed to be. Everything flowed, with great effort, effortlessly.
These were not student dancers, these were dancers. It is amazing they are not even graduate students, but undergraduates. Over-analyzing each individual movement might be useful for dance academics, but not for dance lovers.
Choreography was excellent, sometimes transcendent. The electrifying abstract dances consisted of connection and disconnection, logic and illogic. Choreographers never resorted to showing-off, in order to cover their inexperience, lack of confidence, or to dazzle the audience with cold technique. Other than one purely conceptual piece, the individual dances came from the heart, not only the head, and never resorted to crowd-pandering “cuteness.” Subject matter was deeply serious, but not pretentious.
Two pieces that seemed most simple conceptually, Brittany Baldwin’s “Until We Meet Again” and Elke Calvert’s “Framed,” were models of precise minimalism and absolutely clear storytelling, without resorting to a single clichéd movement. So many stunning, unexpected moves. They might be truthfully be called small “masterpieces” (if that word wasn’t so overused for marketing purposes). Other stand-outs included Jake McIntyre’s “The Poetics of Proxemics” and Dina Smirnova’s “schism.”
“Until We Meet Again” was perfection. Each character was brilliantly captured by the dancers, using a torrent of shocking small movements not seen before. A table and two chairs have probably never been used as well, or in as varied smooth and effective ways.
The concert showed the unified, extraordinary abstract vision of the Department and its Chair, Nancy Dickson-Lewis. Yet each intense dance piece made strong, unique emotional and/or philosophical personal statements.
Storytelling, structure, and dramatic pacing of the choreography in several pieces were less precise and a bit weaker, with some endings drifting off. This is common in numerous student dances (and films), as well as in many professional ones. But control, critical self-judgment, and artistic sacrifice can be learned, painfully, if desired, and if success doesn’t come too soon or too easily.
Still, the concert had countless moments, glorious moments, full of passion, commitment, mature skill, courage, and joy. The wonderful dancers celebrated being fully alive, despite the tragedy, sadness, pain, and occasional hope of their characters.
The Chapman Department of Dance concert can be compared to the energy level of “Burn the Floor” (without the budget), or the better choreography of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Coming from the university where great Lin Hwai-min develops dancers, I can honestly report that Chapman dance training fits comfortably in with the best of New York or Europe.
Quotes & Highlights
See Goldstar member reviews and tips https://www.goldstar.com/events/orange-ca/2010-spring-dance-concert.html from last year’s concert.