Robert Katz, assistant web editor
In the Dance Company’s 2013 show, glitz, pomp and introspection are all found in equal measures, composing a wonderfully entertaining show that, at times, grasps genuine thoughtfulness and power.
The five to 10 minute-long vignettes that piece together the evening are all executed with nothing less than strong competence, though some gems undeniably outshine other numbers. Opuses such as “Jailbreak” (supplied by AP Posse), an ode to the one-upmanship and too-cool-for-school euphoria of hip-hop battles, and the centerpiece “Love Always,” a love-and-politics epic, are highly memorable and define the performance. Standing nearly as tall are the gut-twisting “Words I Never Said,” a pained cry for fairness between lovers, and the tongue-in-cheek all-star finale, “Bollywood Bows,” exactly what the name implies.
The show’s soundtrack pulls together a varied collection of decent tunes that, while better choices often come to mind, manage to suit the moods of their pieces well. “Jailbreak’s” aggressive mix of Roc Nation beats drive its attitude and energy, and “Love Always” finds spirit in a set of Stevie Wonder covers by George Michael. “Vainglorious Queen,” a bland portrait of the standard shallow high school beauty queen who’s too edgy for her own good, benefits immensely from the tone set by Lana Del Rey’s “Carmen.” A bit mystifying is the brief Glitch Mob tangent the scene takes, an omen of the Dance Company’s difficulty in handling electronic tracks. “Apparatus,” the night’s super-serious electronica moment, allows itself the inspiration of both Radiohead and Justice but squanders its gifts on lazy transitions and some of the poorer song selections to be found in the show.
Stellar individual performances tie the whole together with Paloma Bloch, Mia Bronson and Talia Gergely all splitting the spotlight fairly equally, although Bloch seems to sit at the top of the pyramid for good reason. Consistently embodying the soul of each routine she appears in (i.e. most of them), Bloch adds a personal touch to her storytelling and movement, especially in her own “Words I Never Said.” She only ever loses the audience’s focus when across from guest performer Savannah Forno, whose typical confidence as a slimy politician adds a quenching drop of humor.
Bright eyed, playful and brooding throughout two hours, the Dance Company’s performance ties together sometimes-uneven elements of vibrancy and tension into a highly enjoyable show. Though it often trips on its heavier statements, the program swells with purpose whenever it focuses on its more personal and thrilling moments. The program runs Jan. 16-19.