Caliente dance performance sizzles, stuns
Movement Source Dance Company, a local nonprofit dance organization, presented its latest work, Caliente, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. The contemporary dance performances used raw talent and elements of surprise to dazzle audiences at the Physical Education East building on the ASU Tempe campus.
Caliente’s dance programs on Friday and Saturday differed slightly. Both days began with Ricochet, followed by Soul Support, Ablaze, Anecdotes in Dance and Always on My Mind, and concluded with Addiction Part 1.
Friday also incorporated Dangerous Affair by Scottsdale Community College’s Instinct DanceCorps.
Saturday featured Each Other’s Eyes by Xavier College Preparatory students, Peak of Intensity by Boulder Creek High School’s students and Tango Flair by Tempe High School’s FXDC dancers.
The dance performances displayed a sophisticated ambiance from the moment attendees walked into the Physical Education East building. Guests briefly mingled in the lobby and took in the pictures of dancers contorted into impressive positions.
Polished, well-dressed women stood in front of a darkened background with one lit screen, collecting tickets and welcoming people to the shows. Guests followed a steady stream of people entering an intimate theater.
Mumford & Sons and other folk-rock music provided a calming effect before Caliente began. A couple long rows of seats led to a stage veiled by large red curtains. A light wooden piano with a stool was situated to the right side of the stage.
The start of Caliente ushered darkness accompanied by the soft crinkling sound of the curtains being pulled apart. Several figures were revealed and casted a soft glow – a reoccurring aspect during the beginning of each dance.
The dances gradually grew in intensity as time passed. Ricochet and consequent dances focused on soothing songs and undulating actions in neutral-hued clothing. The colored clothing became more vibrant as more complicated emotions were portrayed through music and dance.
Furthermore, details were certainly not spared in other aspects of the performances. The screen in the background and the lights were relatively simplistic, allowing the dancers to shine in their own metaphorical spotlight.
The first half of the program revolved around blissful songs and fluid motions. Most of the dancers were assembled into groups of partners, swaying in an ethereal fashion and melding their bodies together. The syncopation was quite phenomenal, considering the elaborate turns and other stunts that were executed as well. There was never a moment where the dancers became out-of-sync.
The first half also featured ASU doctorate of musical arts student Jonathan Crissman. Crissman sat by the edge of the stage, peacefully adding to the stunning dances by gently plucking his guitar.
The second half of the program had a more tumultuous feel. Frantic orchestral riffs and drums encouraged the dancers to twirl faster and remain solemn-faced.
The only portion of Saturday’s program that deviated from the rest was Tango Flair, a sassy and enjoyable dance set to tango music.
The music served as an excellent way to convey multiple emotions. Tranquil, ominous, electronic and energetic songs were beautifully weaved together.
As the title may suggest, Caliente was not a mix of sultry dance movements set to upbeat music. Instead, it was an aesthetically pleasing collaboration of a variety of musical genres and impeccable dance sequences. It was evident that Caliente stemmed from a great deal of effort, time and talent.
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