If you attend "The Next Wave" this weekend on the main stage of Indiana Repertory Theatre, you will appreciate the adaptability and fitness of the troupe to four different styles, as expressed by Lucy Bowen McCauley, Stephanie Martinez, Brock Clawson, and Kiesha Lalama. The dancers' adeptness has been honed by Hochoy's meticulous training and his own artistic range.
Two years ago, Clawson charmed DK audiences with "Nine," a work that was daring in an odd way, in that it made a dance out of looking at clouds (hence the title, from the joy of being "on Cloud Nine"). That idyllic pastime is best carried out, as nearly everyone remembers, by lying supine — not a conventional dance posture. Clawson showed a gift for giving ordinary life, even the part of it not movement-oriented, a thrilling dance dimension.
|'Lake Effect Snow': Self-realization over both space and time.|
The daring element in this work is to have the central character (danced by Noah Trulock) poised between passivity and activity. We are meant to see the young man as taking in impressions of his surroundings and the opportunities for human connection available to him. The work proceeds by a series of spotlighted episodes and blackouts.
The lights (designed by Laura E. Glover) go up on new scenes, some of them tableau-like, that both isolate and link the character, through a tentative embrace or two, a brief swirl of movement, and suggestions of inertness — as if the way forward were constantly under examination. Small gestures are repeated in larger contexts, the way significant memories tend to expand and contract in our minds. "Lake Effect Snow" is lovely to think about; there are impressive dances that don't inspire much reflection, but this one does. And the thoughts it generates don't have to be deep ones to stay with you.
|'Catapult': The ensemble draws upon solo expression.|
The concert opens with "Tableaux de Provence," an Indiana premiere of Lucy Bowen McCauley's work in tribute to the gracefulness and simple pleasures of southeastern France. Setting five movements of a work for saxophone and piano, the Indianapolis-raised McCauley has fashioned an elegant "chamber" work. With four women and two men in variable partnerships, and drawing on balletic postures and movement, she finds precise embodiments for Paule Maurice's music, particularly its elegance, wit and rhythmic adroitness. The upright carriage of the dancers, the rounded shapes defined by their uplifted arms, bespoke an emotionally warm formality.
|Solos by Jillian Godwin (right foreground) bookend 'Taking Watch.'|
Dancers in ensemble often had their backs to the audience, but the gist of "Taking Watch" seemed to be that outward-directed, angular, thrusting movements tending to suggest conflict, even alienation, can be resolved into a hard-won unity. Some of the soloistic episodes, such as one with Mariel Greenlee and three DK men, emphasized the forging of mutual trust. The wide spaces taken in by outstretched arms and legs, expanded literally by leaps and bounds, evoked Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man," the emblematic drawing of human anatomical proportions held within a circle. Framing circles of inclusion added up to the reassurance at the heart of "Taking Watch."
[Photo credit: Crowe's Eye Photography]