The Hunter College Dance Company — Spring Concert 1

The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College,
Program A, Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dance is alive and well at Hunter. This evening offered seven new dances choreographed and danced by students and ended with a production of Doug Verone’s work from 2010, Four Chapters from a Broken Novel.

The works of the students had two distinctions in common: a drive to move and a vision of unique staging. Move these students can, with motion drawn not from the dictionary of practiced, predigested steps but from their bodies’ moving with the knowledge of statement. And with The Kaye at their disposal, they were able to fulfill their visions of space and light. One dance moved to the apron and beyond. One dance ingeniously divided the depth of the stage with a three-foot wide cloth across with which they could vary the space before and behind. Another divided the height of the stage with horizontal light. Still another had an extragant and elegant set piece—a formally set table with silver service, candles, and flowers up center right, and atop a twelve-foot high structure, an additional formal table setting.

Each work seemed fresh and unique despite the seemingly constant drive to move. Lyricism seems not to live at Hunter, but who cares?

In contrast, the Four Chapters from a Broken Novel that Mr. Verone presented seemed from a different time. Perhaps because the performers lacked knowledge of its literary origin, or perhaps because they did not have the emotional maturity to make the work “readable,” the work seemed to be reaching for something never reached. The motion seemed to be driven along familiar paths, rather than venturing into the unchartered waters, not Mr. Verone’s usual unique approach.

This is the first of three concerts being presented this season. If I could take transporting myself from New Jersey two more times, I’d go in a minute. And I would trust my dancing off-spring to the tutelage of Hunter. They’d let him be the dancer he can be. No moulds to fill. The dictum here seems to be: “find your vision and dance.”

—Ruth Grauert, March 22, 2013