“With each new day comes a new horizon to remind us of the beauty of the present and the promise of growth in the future.” This is the premise of Rushing Horizons the current performance by Texture Contemporary Ballet at the New Hazlett Theater in the North Side.
Texture Ballet is a small company with big vision. As a company, Texture is firmly planted in the traditions of classical ballet with its exposition decidedly leading to the style of contemporary ballet and modern dance. The company, comprised of admitted ‘ballet nerds’, is committed to exploring movement and the joys of expression through dance and its relationship with music.
Texture as a group plays to and against traditional ballet stereotypes with each member able to bring their individual style and ability to the pieces. The result is a fascinating interplay of separate dancers uniting in an ebb and flow that expresses, in a powerful way, the feelings evoked by music and movement.
The three pieces, each running roughly thirty minutes, showcase complex and various choreography styles. Each dancer, with one exception, shares approximately equal stage time across the three. Rushing Horizons challenges and showcases the talents of each company member. The intimacy of New Hazlett Theater is the perfect cozy venue to appreciate this company and its dancers.
Texture’s Artistic director Alan Obuzor opened the evening with his new work, “WIM”, set to the music of Wim Mertens. This first section is closest to classic ballet in form and is the only piece of the evening performed on pointe. The costumes in color blocked earth tones accentuate the fluidity and athleticism of the troupe. WIM flows like a spring stream with athletic grace. David Martinez Coro, who is new to the company, exemplifies that mix of abilities in this, his only number of the evening.
Guest choreographer and Point Park University alum Brynn Vogel’s “Remember Me” is danced to the music of the “King of Soul” Otis Redding. This piece is a physical blend of blues with a contemporary style. It was a joy to watch. Alexandra Tiso’s exceptional solo performance was perhaps the evenings most athletic piece.
Associate artistic director Kelsey Bartman’s new work “Unmap and Repave” was set to the music of Volcano Choir. The gender-neutral earth-bound costuming by Madeline Kendall featured a hand painted water and tree motif. It was beautiful to watch and perfectly captured the ballets foundation with contemporary dance. It was a marriage of sight and sound that featured a compelling performance by Artistic Director Alan Obuzor and the company.
The music for Rushing Horizon does not overwhelm choreography, each element leads and foreshadows the other. The individual Choreographers demonstrate their understanding of each dancer’s strengths and limits while exploiting their talents.
In such an intimate venue as The New Hazlett, it would seem you couldn’t get any closer to the dancers, yet the lighting by the company’s resident designer Bob Steinbeck further draws you in. His design sculpts and enhances the dancers form. A gentle smoky haze softens the mood but still maintains its focus on their performance.
The appreciation of dance is a personal experience for each audience member. Texture Contemporary Ballet Rushing Horizons captivates and enthralls with a unique style and passion celebrating dance and the joy to be human.
Note: At 5:30, following Sunday’s 2 p.m. performance at The New Hazlett Theatre, Texture presents Dance Shorts featuring the work of 8 local dance companies. Reduced pricing for those who have attended a Rushing Horizons performance.
Performances March 23rd to 25th at the New Hazlett Theater on the North Side. For tickets visit https://www.showclix.com/events/9165
Thanks to Texture for the complimentary tickets.
Categories: Archived Reviews