‘New Voices’ Concert Personifies Dance Kaleidoscope Brand

March 24, 2024

Now in its 52nd season, Dance Kaleidoscope lived up to its illustrious reputation Saturday night in its “New Voices” concert, held on the OneAmerica Stage at Indiana Repertory Theatre. Billing itself as Indiana’s premier contemporary dance company, DK’s concert splendidly reflected its mission to embody inclusion and accessibility, and present innovative new works by both local and national choreographers.

And like the kaleidoscope in its now iconic logo, the concert, as defined in Webster’s dictionary. consisted of “variegated changing pattern or scenes, a succession of changing phases or action and a diverse collection.” The total effect was one of bedazzlement due to ingenious choreography, impeccable execution and the artistry of the DK dancers, distinctive music and first-rate production values.

Both entertaining and emotionally satisfying, the diverse program consisted of world premieres created by former DK dancer Mariel Greenlee (“5 Feels”), DK company member Manuel Valdes (FALSE CONNECTIONS) and New York based Janice Rosario (“Peak/Valley”) as well as works by DK Christel DeHaan Artistic Director Joshua Blake Carter.

Greenlee’s “5 Feels” set to music by William Grant Steele, Monica Gaylor, Richard Crosby and Althea Waites consisted of five movements, purposely created to elicit diverse emotions including whimsy and reflection for each.

Based on the audience’s enthusiastic reaction during its curtain call, Valdes’s “FALSE CONNECTIONS,” set to music by Fred again…and Blondie Skies, was a crowd favorite.  Distinctive for its use of a large gold frame on wheels that dancers walked through and served as a mirror, it was incorporated as a prop for this moving piece about relationships and identity.

“Peak/Valley” by Janice Rosario, with music by Ezio Bossa, featuring the entire company was intriguing for its commentary on the common aspects of human existence.

Carter’s works “embankment,” set to music by Olafur Arnalds, featuring Einar George Einarson, and the three movement “Exodus,” suggesting a flight to freedom. Carter’s piece consisted of “Exodus” with music by Gui Baratto, “Requiem”” with music by “A Wind Victory for the Sullen” and “Fracture” with music by Olafur Arnalds, were notable for their fresh originality — especially the architecture of his work.

Looking better than ever, with each deserving of adulation were members of the DK company, consisting of Bo Brinton, Holly Harkins, Courtney Jeffries, Marie Kuhns, Cody Miley, Camryn Pearson, Paige Robinson, Nathon Rommel, Julie Russell, Sarah Taylor, Gion Treicher, Manuel Valdes, and apprentices Vivien Mickels, Olivia Ramsey and Danielle Sibley.

Standing out for their technique, dramatic talents, musicality and personalities were Miley and Russel in their “Five Feels” pas de deux “Out of Silence” and Pearson’s captivating solo in Carter’s “embankment.”

As far as the concert’s previously mentioned, elevated production values —Mariel Greenlee’ costumes for her “5 Feels” piece was a revelation. Who knew she was so multi-gifted? The same can be said for Carter’s designs for “embankment.” Kudos go as well to DK wardrobe and costume manager Terri D. Moore for her appealing designs for Valdes’s “FALSE CONNECTIONS,” and Carter’s “Fracture.” In “Exodus.” And predictably, Laura Glover’s lighting design, was once again, spectacularly world-class.

For tickets and information about the 2023-2024 Dance Kaleidoscope season visit dancekal.org.










photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

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