Local Dancers & Choreographers Connect In TRDance Ensemble’s Annual Summer Concert
- Written by Rebecca Evans
- Category: Opening Night with Rebecca Weinstein
- Published: 16 August 2018
Last weekend TRDance Ensemble performed their annual summer concert at the Benjack Studio Theater at TRDance Center. The TRDance Ensemble is affiliated with Todd Rosenlieb Dance, a professional company that blends classical and modern forms with nods to popular culture in their original choreography. The TRDance Ensemble’s purpose is to give local dancers and choreographers opportunities to mount new works in the community, showing artists of all experience levels can come together and make an impact with their movements.
Last weekend’s program featured a mix of styles, invoking moods ranging from jubilant and silly to sorrowful and thought-provoking. Todd Rosenlieb Dance Company member Ronald Parker choreographed and performed Release the Beast, easing his way out of a box with fluidity; upon emerging his dancing became playful and joyous. His descent back into the box closed the number, performed to hip hop rapper Lady Leshurr.
Another high point was Christopher Harmon’s opening solo to Bonded, choreographed by Megan Henning. Harmon’s performance was wholehearted and captivating - his partners, Deovionn Gaynor and Bella Squatrito, also danced with finesse to “Sleeping at Last” by Ryan O'Neal.
Choreographer and Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) alumna Danielle Hill constructed the evening’s most stirring work. It’s Only Silence If You Are Not Listening featured unnerving vignettes meant to evoke the isolation those struggling with autism often feel. The piece began and ended with spoken audio by famous speaker and writer Kerry Magro to provide context. Dancers Tiffany Gay, Regan Harris, Lauren Kidd, and Sheri Pociluyko moved with tics and frantic, violent energy; they eloquently communicated the piece’s theme without the need for the spoken audio track.
Dr. Lynette Hauser provided comic relief with Socks, Opus 8, No. 2, the perfect parody of an austere ballet class gone wacky and the largest group number of the evening. The dancers entered to classical music by George Frideric Handel. Their odd foot movements foreshadowed something weirder to come - dancers slowly removed their black stockings to reveal colorful toe socks. Although a handful of the group resisted, all embraced the whimsical attire by the end of the number, when one dancer lovingly held her foot to another’s face.
The remaining three pieces (Impulse, Axis, and The Secret Place) were less bold but nevertheless enjoyable to watch and featured equally talented performers.
TRDance Ensemble’s annual showcase for local dancers and choreographers encourages a sense of exploration and risk-taking essential to helping artists and creative communities like ours thrive. Interested in seeing more dance? Next up for TRDance is Stories for the Young, September 29th and 30th, and the Fall Studio Concert Series, November 2nd through 4th and November 9th through 11th. Visit trdance.org for more information.