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.

The kind of stuff I live for. Scottish Dance Theatre at American Dance Festival

From my review published June 23, 2012 in Classical Voice of North Carolina. Read the full review here.

Kate Weare’s Lay Me Down Safe blew my mental breakers in the first minutes, getting right down to what the best dance does best: It brings experience and understanding through the body and its senses. When the lights came up at the end of this eight-dancer exposé of love and danger, I felt like a selkie caught outside my sealskin—unprotected, revealed; muscle, bone and skin tingling with sensation. Much of this magic is worked with the choreography, which struck me as profoundly female, but the entire visual is important, and of course, the dark, rhythmic music mix (including Nouvelle Vague, Philip Glass and Leonard Cohen). Both the backdrops and the costumes—tunics over skirts—are in shades of warm greys, which change in emotional value when the lighting alternates between sidelights and shadow-casting footlights. All the elements combine to create an atmosphere where tender safety and casual obliteration exist in the same moment—just as in the “real” world.

See rehearsal video here. See video of Drift onstage here.

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