Reviewed by Steve Sucato
Stylistic variety was on tap for Point Park University’s Contemporary Dance Company’s annual Contemporary Choreographers program. The Nov. 12 matinee kicked off with Israeli-born choreographer Ori Flomin’s new work “The Way Out.”
Ten dancers in gray clothing sullenly walked from the wings to sit, lie or stand. That group was joined by another in orange costumes, which occupied the brighter-lit, half of the stage, moving through steps and phrases that bopped about. The scene was open to interpretation. But clearly, the sullen group desired what the other group had, and the two groups were destined to merge. While Flomin’s retro-feel, postmodern choreography had its creative moments, the piece’s predictable outcome was a letdown.
Then, 17 dancers in hooded track suits occupied chairs in a line across the front of the stage and faced rear to open Jess Hendricks’ wallop-packing “Shedding Skin.” Bounding about like hip-hop boxers to club music, Hendricks’ choreography grabbed hold and repeatedly smacked you in the face with killer bursts of rapid-fire gestural movement. Alessia Ruffolo’s performance as the protagonist in this piece was superb and committed, as was mighty mite Elizabeth Kalesavich, whose intense, chest-drilling glares reached out from the dancer corps.
Contemporary Choreographers continues through Sun., Nov. 22. George Rowland White Performance Studio, 201 Wood St., Downtown. $10-24. 412-392-8000 or pittsburghplayhouse.com