Dance Review: Complexions Dance Company

On its second visit to Israel, NY-based dance company Complexions did everything possible to dazzle the audience.

By ORA BRAFMAN
April 26, 2011 21:55
1 minute read.
Complexions Dance Company

Complexions Dance Company 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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On its second visit to Israel, NY-based dance company Complexions did everything possible to dazzle the audience, relying mostly on the strong, athletic troop of 15 dancers and their exceptional stamina.

Company director Dwight Rhoden, who choreographed all five pieces of the program, compiled the opening dance Moon Over Jupiter (2010 ) as a breathlessly ambitious extravagant mishmash of styles. He made the dancers work so fast that they probably managed to execute more steps, jumps, falls, lifts, flips, slides and kicks, than there are notes of the accompanying Rachmanino’s score.

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But then came Complexions’ winning card, the lovely Moody Booty Blues (2006), and with that Jazzy blues music, the dancers – like fish in a spring pond – were shining in their right element, bright, warm and perfectly beautiful.

Rhoden founded the company 17 years ago together with Desmond Richardson, the brightest male star of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Richardson still dances and he did only one short solo, as he did on the company’s previous tour. This time he performed a 6 minutes piece, set to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and he held the audience captivated with his assured maturity, razor sharp precision, superb control and his artistry.

Obviously, the dancers come from various professional training and a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Different works allowed quite a few to take center stage for a while, particularly in more intimate pieces such as On Holiday (2010), a homage to Billy Holiday.


It contained four duets which allowed to appreciate the qualities and individuality of the dancers, even though the work itself is hardly a revelation in itself.

The evening ended with Rise, accompanied by the popular music of U2. This was probably the most commercial piece of the day. It was rhythmic and fast, simple in its spatial compositions and was fun to dance and pretty entertaining to watch.

Complexions Dance Company performs in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and Haifa on Saturday, www.rafibenjacob.com

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