Sunday, November 27, 2022

Dance Review: Complexions, 15 Never Looked So Good!

Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Complexions Contemporary Ballet is bringing in its 15th anniversary with a bang!  This season at the Joyce Theater, Complexions has a variety of programs that covers the many shades of dance through the eyes of artistic directors, Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.  What’s most exciting about this season, besides the dancers being more beautiful than ever, is seeing the work of company veterans such as Jae Man Joo and Juan Rodriguez on the line-up.

Are You A Dancer?  Join iDANZ Today! Program C opens with Mercy, a New York premiere choreographed by Rhoden and Richardson.  This piece shows no mercy on the audience or the dancers in this beautifully constructed thirty-five minute work that portrays personal strife and spiritual struggle.  The beauty of Complexions Contemporary Ballet is the impeccable technicality and artistry of every single one of its dancers.  Mercy is an awe-inspiring and heart felt performance that leaves the audience wanting more!

Mirror Me (2009 premiere), choreographed by company member Juan Rodriguez, is a pointe trio performed by Patricia Hachey, Natalia Alonso, and Simon Silva.  This carefully crafted work depicts the many aspects of the human self and the conflict between these varying aspects.  Rodriguez’s use of classical ballet vocabulary, in a way well-suited for this piece, creates a nice contrast with the subject matter.

Complexions, Photography by James Houston Dirty Wire (2009 premiere), choreographed by Dwight Rhoden, is a fierce duet executed ever-so-flawless by Edgar Anindo and Christine Paretlow.  Anindo and Partelow are the perfect mix of sugar and spice as they weave through each other’s space and around each other in risky balances, sensual lifts, and captivating moments of being completely in tuned to each other.  Partelow’s picture perfect lines and command of the space gives her that extra edge that keeps your eyes fixed on her.

Atmosphere (2009 premiere) by company member, Jae Man Joo, is my personal favorite in this program.  In this piece, the audience gets to see Complexions in a whole new light, literally because of the light fixtures placed on stage, and artistically through Joo’s style.  As the piece unfolds, the dancers create an amazing ambience like wonderful illustrators on an open canvas. This piece is less about displaying extraordinary technique and more about showing each dancer as an individual artist with something very unique to offer.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Photography by Paul GoodeThe evening closes with Rise (2008), an audience favorite choreographed by Dwight Rhoden.  This piece, performed to a U2 medley, is a jazzy, high energy, clap along favorite!  The audience has just as much fun as the dancers as they close the evening with high spirits and fuzzy feelings on the inside.

After 15 years of taking the New York contemporary dance scene by storm, Complexions is looking better than ever! The breathtaking facility and ability of the dancers is still wowing the audience and leaving most people speechless.  I look forward to seeing the company take their success to new levels and venture into the unexpected during the next decade!

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iDANZ Critix Corner
Official Dance Review by Simone Sobers
Performance:  Complexions
Choreography:  Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden, Jae man Joo, Juan Rodriguez
Venue:  The Joyce Theater
Show Date:  November 24, 2009

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