BWW Review: COMPLEXIONS Redefines Rhythm at Joyce Residency
It's no secret that it takes a spark to light a match: it's science. But have you ever thought about what it actually takes to create fire? The precision. The delicacy. The power. Its very ignition from flicker to flame is a dance; a spectacle of light and movement that entertains to its very last flare. And on the evening of November 15th at The Joyce Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet personified the very best of this kind of excitement, lighting up the stage with one-of-a-kind passion and fervor.
The World Premiere of Jae Man Joo's "Goodnight" kicked off the show, inspired by famed 15th Century painting, "Dream Journey to the Peach Blossom Land," which evokes a sense of curiosity and wanderlust. With a mystical lighting design by Michael Korsch, the company cast incredible shadows upon the set, magnifying their longing in a remarkable series of suspended attitude turns that seamlessly transitioned into lovely classical pirouettes. With Joo's easy choreographic style, the piece showed off the dancers' natural grace and camaraderie.
Conversely, the World Premiere of Dwight Rhoden's "Duo" instead focused on what makes this company so unique: their athleticism and pristine technique. As the dancers rotated through different partners, their exquisite musculature and lines were front and center in dynamic arabesques and extensions that defied all logic. However, the dancers' timing and synchronicity could have used a bit more polish.
A third World Premiere, "Summertime" by Dee Caspary followed, which melded acrobatics and ballet into a never-ending kaleidoscope of movement. Danced by a talented trio, it was often hard to see where one dancer began and another ended. Clean, crisp, and leaving the audience wanting more, it was the perfect piece to heighten the cadence of the show.
Ido Tadmor's World Premiere of "Postponed Conversations" followed, an explorative tête-à-tête performed by Addison Ector and Shanna Irwin. Showcasing the pair's vulnerability through angular movements, the piece explored the complicated relationship between two fully formed selves, playing with the floor and space to reflect a greater dimension of existence. It was exhilarating to watch.
But nothing was more exhilarating than the evening's finale piece, Dwight Rhoden's "Gutter Glitter." Imbued with the urban rush and look-and-feel of city living, the company broke all the rules, leaping, twirling and riding the high of the very best of classic technique. As a compilation of ideologies, movement vocabularies, and rhythms, Rhoden's message of inclusivity was crystal clear, and it was the perfect way to end the evening on a high note.
Don't miss out: Complexions Contemporary Ballet will be at the Joyce Theater, now through November 26th!
Photo Credit: Justin Chao