Tuesday, 26 November 2013

COSTUME, DRAMA: For 25th season, Company Dance Theatre offers a dazzling showcase of youthful energy and wild imagination

SCENE WORK: Performers in their element during Rose Hall; Below, at the Bank of Jamaica earlier this year.

The just-concluded 25th anniversary season of the Company Dance Theatre had everything a great dance recital should: poetry and spectacle, innovative choreography and a sense of vivid imagination.

Over the course of the past weekend, Tony Wilson and his incredibly agile young charges, some barely in their teens, captivated the Little Theatre crowd, bringing grace, poise and authority to the repertoire of new and revived works.

Dubbed The Trilogy: Unleashing The Next Generation, the season stretched over the course of three evenings with "Retrospect," "Renaissance" and culminating with a remounting of Rose Hall, a spellbinding and evocative dance narrative centred on the legend of the infamous great house and its most notorious inhabitant Annie Palmer (commandingly portrayed by the lovely Lindsay Lodenquai). Full of historical drama and epic romance -- not to mention a pulsating soundtrack and brilliantly diverse lighting -- the presentation, above all, was testament to Wilson's creative genius.
Elsewhere, the 2013 season was a vibrant riot of style and technical rigour, with such highlights as Michael Holgate's hauntingly Afrocentric "Creole Running"; the enchanting "Colours," Barbara McDaniel's nostalgic and humorous homage to Jamaican dancehall culture "Sessions" and Wilson's multi-octave juggernaut "Calabash," a tapestry of wildly shocking imagery and unending vigour.

In short, a triumphant collection of works, all shaken and stirred with the performers' youthful, fizzing energy.

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