Magazine article Pointe

Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Pushing Dance to Extremes

Magazine article Pointe

Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Pushing Dance to Extremes

Article excerpt

Complexions Contemporary Ballet: Pushing Dance To Extremes

There's not a lot of middle ground with choreographer Dwight Rhodsn. His work is ultra-fast. It's super-charged physicalitv. and everything is pushed to the nth degree-jumps, turns and battements. It's edgy and in-your-tace.

Similarly, there aren't a lot of fencestraddlers among those who watch Rhoden's work. Either you love ft for all the reasons above or you dislike it for the same.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet. the company the choreographer formed in 1994 with his muse, the virtuoso dancer Desmond Richardson, appeared at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center m Newark. New Jersey, in Oclober, giving the world premiere of Rhoden's Hissy Fits, commissioned for the center's Alternate Routes series. The other highlight, the company premiere of Ulysses Dove's Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, was excerpted because of an iniured dancer.

Whether by design or chance, Rhoden's work is more revealing than its superficial appearance suggests at first. Take Hissy Fits, for example. Rhoden's program notes indicate this suite of dances is about out-of-control emotions and their impact on relationships. But this is not your traditional display of emotion. In Rhoden's universe, temper tantrums bring cool impassivity, a very 21st-ceniury attitude. Indeed, the 11 dancers moving through a series of pas de deux and solos seem determined Io avoid overt emotion at all costs.

Rhoden's Achilles' heel-his reluctance to edit-shows up here, unfortunately muddying the waters. …

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