Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Fuzion Not as Fun, but Mature

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Fuzion Not as Fun, but Mature

Article excerpt

Watching Fuzion Dance Artists' seventh annual concert, I decided the age of a modern dance company must be calculated like it is for dogs -- that is, one human year equals seven.

By that reckoning, Fuzion is now middle-aged -- and it looks it. This program was more mature, but less playful than those past; less "hey, let's put on a show" and more "let's get down to business." Even as I respected the growth, I missed the humor, surprise and unpretentiousness that are linked in my mind with Fuzion productions.

The best of six contemporary works were the two by Fuzion's founder and director, Leymis Bolanos-Wilmott. "Propel" was the premiere of an athletic tour de force for Fuzion company members Rolando Cabrera, Ben Howe and Jahrel Thompson, joined by Dwayne Scheuneman, director of the mixed-ability REVolutions Dance company. To an original recording by longtime collaborator, percussionist Scott Blum and New College music professor Mark Dancigers (on guitar), the four men formed a unit both cohesive and competitive, like rivalrous siblings.

Stereotypical male forms of affection -- a hand on a shoulder, a gang-style handshake, a shoulder slug -- alternated with oneupmanship, culminating in Scheuneman being lifted, wheelchair and all, into a one-arm handstand. I loved its energy, the spotlighting of individual dancer's strengths and the brotherly love, as well as dramatic lighting by Celeste N. Silsby Mannerud.

"African Skies," which debuted last fall at the Arts and Cultural Alliance's annual awards show, had all the zest and pizazz the rest of the concert lacked. With its Afro-Latin movement and lively (though not live) music by Jazz Juvenocracy, it was a joyful release for dancers and audience. Showcased dancer Jahrel Thompson was mesmirizing. The ease, grace and insidious smile of this longest- standing company member remains a highlight of any Fuzion concert.

I also enjoyed a second viewing of Alyson Dolan's "Rapid Eye Movement," set last year on students from Booker High School. …

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