Magazine article Pointe

Kansas City Ballet Puts A Shine on Tharp

Magazine article Pointe

Kansas City Ballet Puts A Shine on Tharp

Article excerpt

Kansas City Ballet Puts A Shine On Tharp

Kansas City Ballet lit up the outdoor bandshell in Manhattan's Battery Park on September 6, opening the Evening Stars series. Artistic Director William Whitener, a former Twyla Tharp dancer, presented Tharp's Catherine Wheel Suite, which he staged with fellow Tharp alumna Shelley Washington; and KCB put a shine to Tharp's challenging movement in this pure dance revival. The troupe also performed David Berkey's Sentinel; Jacques d'Amtaoise's Meditation and Whitener's Jaywalk.

Extracting the positive from Tharp's perplexing 1981 Broadway production, The Catherine Wheel, the new suite includes two midsections and the popular finale: "Dinosaur," "Cloud Chamber" and "The Golden Section," all set to music specially composed by New Wave musician David Byrnc. Eight dancers in dark, casual costumes with bright red bands on wrists and ankles fuel the smoky chaos of "Dinosaur" with energy and athleticism.

Stefani Schrimpf and Logan Pachciarz dance "Cloud Chamber." Upper bodies writhing, they fall and knock against each other with uncanny virtuosity. Schrimpf calls the shots. Sitting in deep plié, she extends her long arms to turn Pachciarz to lace her-and then he carts her off.

Santo Loquasto's costumes in "The Golden Section," are variously cut from gold material. Women wear a tutu-toga hybrid. In architecture, the "golden section' is a geometric ratio identified with the classical beauty of ancient times. As if in a perfect world, Tharp's women revel in sensual solos. The men rotate their shoulders in unison, like a machine; and a stomping quartet marks the corners and central axis. …

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