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Wal-Mart isn't ALL evil...

Posted Jun 02 2008 6:03pm

I'll have a review/recap of some of my favorite and least favorite companies from Spring To Dance up later this week, but I think Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet deserves a whole post.

So, first off, here's what little I knew about this company before I saw them dance: I had seen Cedar Lake II perform a few years ago (2004? 2005?). It was my first experience with "contemporary ballet". They were good, but I honestly wasn't sure if I liked their performance or not because it was so different and strange. Sometime sort of soon after that, a studio I danced at got a new teacher who apparently used to dance with CLII which had ceased to exist because of funding or rehearsal space or something (Apparently there was also a Cedar Lake Youth Ensemble around the same time.). Most of the dancers had moved to a different city to dance, but the few that stayed became Missouri Contemporary Ballet. They taught a workshop that I was at and I ended up LOVING the company thereafter attempting to attend all performances of their's I could. So, I thought Cedar Lake (the real, big cedar Lake without the II) would be really good. I was pretty much right, except good is sort of an understatement.

CLCB performed what I now know was a shortened version of Decadance last night. It started with the rock version of Hava Nagila with the curtain still down. The curtain finally comes up and we see that all the dancers are sitting on black folding chairs in a huge semi-circle wearing black suits and hats (Were they sitting Shiva?). In canon, they sort of flail backwards, throwing their hats off. This phrase is repeated with slight variation many times until they've stripped down to grey men's underwear and grey wife beaters.

the piece is in many sections, some solos, some with the whole company, and some with only the guys or only the girls. There was a part where they jumped up and down and barked for probably a full minute. At another time, they stood there with the hugest fakest grins plastered on their faces shaking their hips occasionally bringing their arms slightly higher. Was it weird? Yes. Does it sound horrible when I describe it? Probably. Did almost everyone there LOVE it? Definitely.

Then, there was another solo section. A girl dancing to a speech, I guess. From the dialogue, I got my new favorite quote "God is an invention, like pizza". After the solo, most of the rest of the company came back out onstage for the rest of the piece (They had clothes on this time).

It was weird and almost schizophrenic looking (Can something look schizophrenic?) and jagged and flaily and not what I was expecting, having only seen Cedar Lake II, but it was AMAZING. After seeing them, I want to go to their (nonexistent) summer intensive. I want to go to New York and see them perform all the time. Now, that isn't going to happen any time soon, but I can still have a new favorite company (even though I've only seen them perform once).

Stay on your toes,

Selly
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