The performance by the Mark Morris Dance Group at Summerfest last week was like a loaf of artisan rye bread—dense, complex, chewy. The evening at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center was so packed with dance, music, and ideas, I would have like multiple viewings: once to focus on Morris’s choreography and brilliant movers, once for the world-renowned Summerfest musicians, and a third time to lose myself in the thrilling voice of countertenor John Holiday.
Eye, ear, and imagination have never been so simultaneously deluged in SummerFest’s 33 years of programming as they were Wednesday, August 21, with the Mark Morris Dance Group taking center stage at The Conrad.
Choreographer Hector Guerero brings every distinctive finger snap and threatening melee from the source, Jerome Robbins…You may have seen the show before, but it’s danced wonderfully here…
Litvak Dance excels at storytelling, turning dances into intimate narratives. And Emily Miller is a gem, not only a powerful mover but a wonderfully mobile-faced actor whose pout could be a weapon. Those were my top takeaways from “Small Dances,” the program Litvak did at the Vine Theater last weekend.
The danger of amplifying tappers’ footfalls, especially with up to eight dancers onstage, is that if anyone goes a hair off-beat or doesn’t tap cleanly, it’s exposed. Dorrance and her seven dancers nailed it, whether in tight unison or doing a counterpoint like a downpour of sound—a downpour in which you can hear individual raindrops, they’re that precise.
Joshua Bergasse’s choreography is clean and jazzy, with a Fosse vibe. Without spilling the fudge topping, dance sequences for the Oompa Loompas are simply genius, and puppet master Basil Twist did the puppet and illusion design, so there are artistic elements galore…