Doug Varone and Dancers
Photo: Phil Knott
Doug Varone and Dancers

Bates Dance Festival,
Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, July 17, 2010

A Review

Doug Varone doesn’t want me to stop smoking, hate war, or condemn bigotry. (Maybe he does, but he doesn’t throw it at me from the stage.) He just wants me to sit up and pay attention and I did. Now I know why I have spent 65 years with dance. And I want more.

—Ruth Grauert, Oct. 26, 2006

That was 2006 and now in 2010 I repeat myself.

At The Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine on July 17th, I saw Boats Leaving (2006), which remains as strong as ever. Verone’s handling of time and his development from stasis continues to be compelling.

This was followed by two duets, excerpts from Chapters from a Broken Novel (2010). The first of these, “Glass,” disappointed me. It seemed that the dancers had not found the resonance with the piece’s clipped and driving motion. But in the second duet, “Égalité,” the choreography returned to Varone’s sensitive handling of time and motional surprises at which his dancers are masters.

The final work, Lux (2006), is another Varnone masterpiece in which we are treated to a rising moon, projected on the cyclorama, great solos danced by Eddie Taketa, and a series of motion duets that send the meta-kinesis sailing. The dancers, John BeasantIII, Julia Burrer, Ryan Corriston, Natalie Desch, Erin Owen, Alex Springer, Eddie Taketa, and Netta Yerushalmy are superb at handling Varone’s molding of motion, and in sending it out to the audience. I hope to see them all again and again,

—Ruth Grauert, July 18, 2010