ADF: A Dark Night with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet


From Crystal Pite's Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue, performed by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Photo: Sharen Bradford.

Crystal Pite’s Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue, performed by Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Photo: Sharen Bradford.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will return to the Durham Performing Arts Center tonight with the same program they presented last night, which included the American Dance Festival-commissioned world premiere of a new work by Emmanuel Gat, and the consuming Hofesh Shechter work Violet Kid.

From my review published 7/6/14 on

While Violet Kid was onstage, I hated the music for its similarity to the clatter and crash of urban life even while admiring its dense rhythms. I hated the everyday-grunge costumes for obscuring the lines of the dancers. I hated the lighting for keeping the eyes of the dancers from me even while it revealed them as one body. I hated the dance for not offering any hope of respite from the daily struggle even while being unable to take my eyes from it. But this is one of those dark, dense artworks that the mind and the heart learn to love with just a little time. It was by far the most memorable and significant of the three works on the program. I’d see it again in a heartbeat.

Read the full review here.


Emmanuel Gat's Ida? premiered 7/5/14 at the American Dance Festival. Photo: Grant Halverson ©ADF.

                Emmanuel Gat’s Ida? premiered July 5, 2014, at the American Dance Festival.                Photo: Grant Halverson ©ADF.

2 responses

  1. KDA, your review of CLCB is spot on! Regarding the vocalizations that frequently disrupted Ida?, during the PPD, which I don’t think you attended, Emmanuel Gat described the seemingly random spoken words (mostly the names of company dancers and their nicknames for various movements) as the “second score” of the piece. The primary score is the visible choreography, and the second score, which heretofore has never been revealed, consists of the simultaneous verbal cues in each dancer’s head. For me, trying to decipher the call-outs tended to lessen the boredom. Unsurprisingly, the first query from the PPD audience inquired about the dark, indirect lighting. Surprisingly, of the five company reps, the only response came from one of the dancers (Navarra Novy-Williams), who appraised and attributed the lighting of all three pieces to Jim French, the company’s Lighting Supervisor. She described the similar lighting in the dances as a coincidence. As I recall, Gat was mute on this subject.

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, I had understood that Gat was thinking of the choreographic, musical and textual elements as “scores.” And I grasped that some of the words were dancer names, and it sounded like they were being instructed to move in specific ways (e.g. “gum on your shoe”). In my opinion, it is not possible that the lighting in all 3 dances being so similar was coincidence. They designed the program.

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