Artistic Directors Jamey Hampton & Ashley Roland
World Premiere of Smoke Soup
sez says: I love this dance troupe--so I am not ever happy to be critical of them. But their dancing in this show was uneven and so were the dances themselves. Hampton's opening Light No Lamp was just awkward--it was hard to see and it didn't work. Next All Blues Hail Mary--was slow to start and once it picked up interest it ended. SUIT ON A FRAME was the stuff we go to Body Vox to see, great choreography--and with a few more days of practice might have been one of the best in the show. "My Favorite Cage"--was almost embarrassing. But things did pick up from there. TRAMPOLINE was energetic and fun--and Melissa Kanavel had perfect poise, balancing action with a complete nonchalant relaxation as she got tossed around the room. Then came CIVILIANS--probably my favorite --but again the dancers needed to be a little more in sync. Write My Book was entertaining and clever and Hello Stranger was full of fun energy.
After the intermission THE MAN I KEEP HID started things off right, with humor and all the right moves...but again with some dancers not being entirely in rhythm with the group. Another stand out in the second half was PROGRESS OF LOVE--which was sensuous and fun at the same time. STOP worked well and was spot-on in both execution and choreography--with Hampton hopping about with two mannequin types. We'll Meet Again followed by Death to the Storm flowed together seamlessly -- but the second part seemed to need a larger space. Finally Rough and Tumble has humor and style but the end number STARS didn't have enough oomph for the finale.
On the really positive side--the costumes were wonderful--and the music was well performed. I like Joe Henry's music, and I give credit for trying to use as the basis of the show--but I am not so sure it was a good decision. There are, after all, so many very great pieces of music to choose from.
Overall grade C
John Street Cafe (Grade A)
7 years ago