Erika Galiette and Eduard Forehand in A Gloomy Peace choreographed by Chuck Bronson.
Photo-Judith Hake


University of Louisville Dance Theatre Spring Gala 2014

Choreographers: Chuck Bronson, Cynthia Bronner, Jules Perrot, Theresa Bautista, Savanna McFarlam, Jenni Haddy

Review by Emily Newton

Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Emily Newton. All rights reserved.

The University of Louisville Dance Academy brought the Spring Gala Dance performance to The Comstock Concert Hall of The U of L School of Music this past weekend. The performance provided a wonderful platform for both the young performers and the more seasoned dancers of the pre-professional company. The evening began with a ballet entitled Pas de Quartre that featured impressive pointe technique. The specific narrative of the piece was hard to identify, though the technique of the dancers was notable.

The Blowing Veil gave us young dancers whose joy was evident as soon as the lights shown upon the stage. The dancers moved with great momentum and great big smiles across the stage and in front of a unique backdrop of a darkened forest, contrasting the youthful buoyancy of the performers.

Raga, used jewel toned costumes and the sounds of Bollywood to move the dancers through the space. The asymmetry in the choreography was delightful to watch, and the dancers showed skill in moving their bodies in geometric shapes while maintaining smoothness in their locomotion across the stage. The dancers lost togetherness for only a few miss-steps in this tricky choreography.

The pedantic gestures of both Strike and God Only Knows were so youthful and fitting for the ensemble, it was satisfying to see the dancers work around material that resonated with their age and development. While An American Tango was a great showcase of the dancers skill of quick turns and leaps. Just as in The Blowing Veil, the joy inside the dancers was clear and just a pleasure to watch!

A piece that showed great potential for further development was Go Round, with compelling body shapes and delicate attention to the details of the hands and fingers. Through the hand gestures, it was easy to latch onto the stories of these dancers, as simple hand movements are something even the most pedestrian person is familiar with. These gestures grew into full body expressions that compelled the viewer to follow their stories. However, we begin to lose connection to the characters of the dance, as we lose sight of their faces and eyes with many of the movements. We long to see their faces, to see into their eyes, to see what they are experiencing.

This longing was answered in the final two pieces, Requiem for a Moment and A Gloomy Peace. Both were full of beautiful moments of “almost intimacy”, making the moments of true contact truly daring. Requiem for a Moment initially fills the stage with a crowd of dancers robed in black and holding masks that would prove to be unnecessary and almost distracting to the overall arch of the piece. The movements and choreography of these pieces was so strong, so capable of telling the story, that I found the masks to be superfluous. As the tempo slowed in the music, the dancers came closer to the floor, and the partner work became increasingly intricate. As A Gloomy Peace begins we are treated to the lifts and carries of the dancers that had a lightness not of air, but of love, that was contrasted by the counterbalances seeped in weightiness and gravity. It left the audience truly desiring that lightness once again. It was a quality that swept across the stage again as the two principal dancers formed shapes of surrender to one another and clasped hands to close the show.


University of Louisville Dance Theatre Spring Gala 2014

May 16 & 17, 2014

Comstock Concert Hall
University of Louisville School of Music