Impressions on Impressions

Last night, choreographer and teacher Joelle Cosentino presented "Impressions," an evening of dance to benefit two breast cancer organizations: the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society. The program was anchored by Complexions Contemporary Ballet and featured a slew of young dancers.

 

One was 11-year-old Dena'h Gregory who performed a dark and pulsating routine by Tokyo Kevin Inouye. She alternated between elongated positions—her legs reaching for the ceiling—and torso contractions that gave her a Hunchback of Notre Dame figure. Her focus and intensity filled the Symphony Space theater—so it was pleasantly surprising to discover, when we spoke at intermission, that she's still a sweet young girl with a generous giggle.

 

Geo Hubela's hip hop numbers crackled with energy, especially set amongst the many languid contemporary pieces. His first work featured the "Iconic Boyz," an ensemble of charismatic young male dancers who got the crowd roaring. They returned, joined by other dancers, for a second number to Michael Jackson's "Scream," the stage packed with bodies in silver bomber jackets. Hubela knows how to choreograph for large groups, creating clean moves that build strength in numbers.

 

Along with Complexions, contemporary dancer Chaz Buzan headlined the evening. He's got a piercing presence on stage. At one point, he danced in silence. His body sculpted the space with ease. The audience could hear him breathe in and out, the only indication that the fluid choreography demanded strenuous exertion.

 

Complexions completed the evening. Two couples, Natiya Kezevadze with Clifford Williams and Natalia Alonso with Gary Jeter, performed excerpts from Dwight Rhoden's On Holiday, which is set to songs by Billie Holiday. In both pairings, the dancers lithe bodies tangled with each other. It was a smooth and sleek ending to the night.

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