Heaven and Earth


The dancers of Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company (Dance Theater Workshop) resemble eager recruits going to wars that matter, challenges awaiting their ardent spirits. In Al Perryman’s Tell It to the Lord, a singer roars what could be their motto: “Lord, don’t move that mountain/Give me strength to climb!” Sometimes music and expressive performances—like those of Kelly Boyd and Enrique Cruz DeJesus in DeJesus’s Through These Tears—help float dances where the movement thread is not the freshest. But Martial Roumain made an intriguing, disciplined solo Elegy for dancer Donna Clark. Roberto Villanueva, a small powerhouse, drew appreciative gasps from the audience at the close of his dramatic abstract solo from Cuori Separati.

Program One of “Dances for Wave Hill,” site-specific dance and music commissions produced by Dancing in the Streets, included the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in The Unfolding Stone. Filling a field like a stand of tropical flowers, with percussionists wailing on drums and gong, the troupe unfurled along a grassy clearing. Each dancer’s impulse to move gently triggered another’s. Luscious partnering and ensemble work was inspired by activated and blended yin and yang. Costume panels of vivid burgundy, midnight blue, and other strong hues floated in the river-borne breeze. In another clearing, Guta Hedewig’s Descend/Ascend began with red-clad apparitions emerging from the trees, serenely referencing giraffes, cranes, Jack and Jill, and the silent flight of crows gliding overhead. Although not billed as dance, Terry Dame’s delicious music installation Garden Variety Gamelan does include stilt walking by Jennifer Miller and Jenny Romaine that, to my eyes, is wonderful, dreamy dance.