Tenebrae, Christopher Caines’s ceremonial tribute to Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis, filled St. Mark’s spare sanctuary with the extravagance one would expect at a grand opera hall. Neither Caines’s old-school balletic craftmanship nor Kristina Boerger’s lovely 40-voice choir shook downtown’s temple of postmodernism to its core, but their combined, lavish energy made a strong impression. Dancers—most new to the troupe—worked hard through a lengthy program of complex, exacting choreography that also featured Can’t Sleep, a Broadway-inflected ballet in 14 sections set to William Bolcom’s Cabaret Song/, and Caines’s 2004 solo Stay, to Brahms. The abundant program notes were supplemented by seven pages of lyric sheets. With Caines maybe it’s best to focus on one point of interest at a time. Watching Christopher Woodrell—a CCDC veteran and Caines’s assistant—provided that respite. Despite costuming that can make his body appear stubby, he exhibited fine placement, lyrical gesture, and poetic expression.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 28, 2005