BWW Reviews: Lindsay Nelko's AWAKENING
Awakening was an evening full of talented dancers, with credits including So You Think You Can Dance, Billy Elliot, Miami City Ballet, After Midnight, and Radio City Christmas Spectacular. A surprise guest appearance was also made by Alex Wong, former So You Think You Can Dance contestant and cast member of Newsies on Broadway. With such a talented cast and choreographer (Lindsay Nelko), who has an impressive list of credits, including So You Think You Can Dance and X-Factor, I had high hopes for the evening.
Unfortunately, I found the choreography for this show to be lacking. Most of the movement featured running and lifts, with little more variety than that. My personal choreography preference is for more movement, and less running across the stage. The choreography did not highlight the magnificent talents of the cast members, nor did it show off their wide range of skills. With an ensemble this incredible, I was hoping that the choreography would show off exactly how talented these dancers are. The dancers did their best with the material they were given though, and still managed to put on an excellent performance.
Not only was the choreography lacking, but the entire mood of the performance made it difficult to get through. Awakening took place on a gorgeous, sunny, summer day, but the show, however, did not match the weather outside. The tone, in fact was quite dark and negative. The performance was meant to span life's journey, showcasing different moments in a person's life, including fear, courage, anxiety and love. But the show focused primarily on the negative, with only a few glimpses of happiness and hope. At one point in the show, I heard an audience member exclaim, "Just when I thought things were getting better!" I had to agree. I would have liked to see more of life's happier moments interspersed throughout the performance, rather than the constant pain,fear, anxiety, and death.