Saturday, November 3, 2012

Idaho Dance Theatre Kicks Off 24th Season With Fall Performance

Posted By on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Carl Rowe and Marla Hansen, Idaho Dance Theatre co-artistic directors, stood on the stage at the Boise State Special Events Center Friday, welcoming attendees to the company's 24th season, and apologizing.

The Nov. 2 fall performance was getting under way 20 minutes past curtain time, because of computer issues that made getting tickets a touch more difficult than usual. But the dance enthusiasts in the Events Center didn't seem to care.

The performance began with the premiere of a new work by Rowe, Four Characters With Attitude. The "characters" were Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. The piece began with dancers crawling swiftly on all fours, eventually working their way to standing one vertebrate at a time.

Wind featured whirling dancers blown across the stage by another's breath. The costumes, designed by Rowe and Hansen, included light shawls that helped portray the element.

The water segment began with a metal pail. The original music from David Alan Earnest began with a dripping sound, making the rain believable enough that it wasn't surprising when a dancer splashed water on her face and neck. As dancers in liquid-looking T-shirts moved in a fluid manner, another perfectly mimicked a stone statue, slowly changing position and melting to the ground.

The piece concluded with a pack of pyromaniac mobster flashers—or, according to the program, an elusive Joker. Fire was an entertaining and somewhat light-hearted romp, opening with flashes of light and trench coats. The audience giggled as dancers chased one another and opened their trenches while the others recoiled in horror.

After a brief intermission, Hansen's 2002 piece, Chakra, opened to the music of Apocalyptica. The piece showcased the technical skills of some of the company dancers, especially those of the sprightly Sayoko Knode in the Rescue segment, but was a little empty. Heavy and emotive music can be tough to interpret visually and calls for a passion that radiates from pointed toe to extended fingertip, and while the piece was lovely, it was slightly outweighed by the music.

The final dance, Rowe's 1999 piece Rorshach, included many rapid movements and drip-dropping sounds that easily made audience members think of ink blots. One standout was Alfred Hansen's lighting scheme, which transitioned the stage from bright to dark to completely pink flawlessly.

Idaho Dance Theatre's Fall Show continues today at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. Visit IDT's website for more info.

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