We went to see GroundWorks DanceTheater last Saturday. The program started with a dance that was new to us, All I Do. Premiered in 2011, All I Do is the 2nd dance David Parker has choreographed on GroundWorks. Like his Annie Redux (2007), All I Do deconstructs a musical, Singing In the Rain, and delights in reconfiguring some of its elements.
If Hollywood musicals are one of your guilty pleasures, then you know the fun of singing and dancing along with the DVD. And maybe, just maybe, you occasionally push “pause” and do your own riffs. That’s what Parker and the GroundWorks dancers did with the words, melodies, and especially the rhythms from Singing In the Rain, except they did it really, really well. They sang and danced along with Debbie Reynolds singing and Chico Marx on piano. And the dancers managed to sustain a couple of long and vigorous a cappella slap fests. But our personal favorite was a barefoot tap dance performed by Annika Sheaff and Damien Highfield. Every. Tap. Crystal. Clear.
The new piece on the program, Untitled choreographed by Artistic Director David Shimotakahara, is a duet set to Rhythm Song by Paul Smadbeck, one of the most popular solo marimba works of all time. Hear it here. Cleveland’s own Luke Rinderknecht played the 8-minute piece with authority. Dancers Noelle Cotler and Highfield found flung movements, edgy kinetics and fluid partnering that was a world away from the show-biz presentation of personality that characterized All I Do.
Hindsight (2011), Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s tribute to the music of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders, remains fresh and fun.
GroundWorks DanceTheater performed at Cain Park’s Alma Theater on Thursday, 6/12 thru Saturday, 6/14/2014. Elsa and Vic watched the performance on Saturday, 6/14.
Be sure to check out Cain Park coming events http://www.cainpark.com/index.aspx?page=668 including Verb Ballets on 7/26, Inlet Dance Theatre’s FREE shows on 7/30 & 31, and Philadelphia’s Ill Style & Peace on 8/15/2014.
By Elsa Johnson & Victor Lucas