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AUDIENCE REVIEW: "Dust" & Mixed Rep: Fantasy Adventure and Jazzy Vignettes
RedCurrant Collective and JP Dance Group- Split BIll
March 11th, 2015
I came to check out The Series after hearing about the concert from my daughter's friend. Visiting the website showed a wide range of performers and styles so I figured no matter what there would be something that I'd like. Being more of a Broadway MGM kind of broadI thought JP Dance Group would be the perfect fit for me. The show opened with 'Dust' which was.... the best way to describe it is a heartfelt fantasy adventure brought to life through dance. The all female cast was stunning. I tend to avoid ballet because I feel fat in comparison with the dancers. Not so with the women of RedCurrant Collective. They are all lovely and athletic women with bodies that while impressive also have natural curves (I'm happy my husband wasn't with me- who needs THAT competition :p ). The most impressive thing about this piece to me was how strongly etched each character was. Though there was no obviousby the bookflow, I definitely was able to follow the comings and goings.It startedout on a meandering adventure that quickly coalesced into some sort of quest that turned into a full on battlebetween brawling women followed by the sad results of war and the loss of one of the main characters- which I found heartbreaking. Thank God the piece did not attempt any sort of 'redeeming message'- instead it concluded with the breaking up of the original band of adventurers and one character meeting up with a new adventurer at the end and deciding to continue on to new quests. Life happens and then we pick up the pieces and get on with living. I loved it and I did not expect to. I don't know if I got the plot right and kind of wish I could have spoken to the choreographer about it but even without hearing her words I think I got her message.
After intermission and a speech by the festival director (who I think was doing lights and music as well!) the show continued with JP Dance Group's mixed rep performance. This was definitely more my speed, dance wise. The dancing was very nice though at times I felt that the individual performers were holding themselves back. Maybe it was the size of the space but I didn't get the sense of abandonment that I felt the dancers were capable of and that I think they wanted to unleash. It created this weird sort of tension- like before snow finally falls on a freezing day- the tension was almost unbearable UNTIL the second piece which was a sort of dance version of the movie "Ghost". The piece was not about the movie- it was about a woman who feels the haunting presence of her beloved deceased husband. It took place in a chair but without the kinky chair dancing I normally see in dances involving chairs. This dance was just lovely- the dancers were gorgeous- and again, not starving waifs (thank God). There is something wonderful about seeing a beautiful woman with a beautiful figure dance and getting lifted by a strong hunk of man. The epilogue of this piece was touching in its honesty. It was of the woman walking off after a funeral without any last embraces or tearing at her hair and breast. It was strong and simple and- it made me think of my sister after she lost her husband to leukemia. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. This was hands down my favorite piece of the night though I have to give a shout to the final section of the 99 to 1 dance that JP Dance Group performed. The dancers finally got down and dirty- maybe they'd finally worked out a few nerves or maybe this was their favorite part to dance. Whatever it was they stopped holding back and just dug in. I was shaking in my chair with them- it was so fun and- again honest with the showing of how much we hate waking up to go to work a 9to5 jobbut find joy in the small things- and it is those small things that get us through.
The show was great. There was a lot that was different to see and best of all- it was always entertaining. Considering the price was about the cost of a movie ticket I thought I got an amazing deal and will definitely come back to see another show this weekend. 4 Stars out of 5 stars.