RODERICK GEORGE, foreground, and his troupe in action.
(photo credit: JUBAI BATTISTI)
American-born and -trained Roderick George leads an all-male group which opened Tel Aviv Dance program, and claims in his own way that classically based dance can be hip, up-todate and fun filled, unburdened by a highbrow agenda.
This energetic, compact and muscular dancer is well versed in current trends of contemporary dance. Being a part of fine repertoire companies on both sides of the Atlantic, his choreography reflects some of his rich experience, that he tried to embed in DUST.
The program introduces his style, aggressive in a spirit associated with hip hop, combined with sleek ballet manners.
There is very little indication in the work that connects its contemporary dance expressions with hip hop; not in form, archetypal moves or competitive motivation.
A rather long appetizing musical prelude by a DJ on stage sets a strong sophisticated urban ambiance with ties to the outer rims of popular music, an ingenious choice to introduce the four dancers, who opened with balletic positions and gestures.
Juxtaposing their tender hands, stretched to reach the horizon, their pointed feet, tiptoeing forward in their loose, grey tricot training garments on one hand, and on the other – strong, muscular jumps, falls, lifts and plenty of challenging hard work and sweat.
It was clear that among the four of them, Roderick himself is the supporting pillar of the group, and his presence draws the eye toward him, his precision and rough grace, or perhaps his inquisitive gaze. He, among the four participants, best embodied the spirit of the group.
The dancers were all extremely capable, dynamic and pushing hard, yet when needed, soft and sensitive without reservation.
Structurally Roderick’s choreography was well crafted, his thematic orientation was simple and clear. He supplied good summer entertainment with four hot dancers that know all the right moves.