Sunday, December 28, 2003

Best of 2003: Dance

By Kathy Valin
Enquirer contributor

New collaborations and visitors from the around the world - plus a solid core of local creators, presenters and performers - kept Cincinnati's dance scene buzzing in 2003.

1. Salia ni Seydou - The impact of amazing physicality and breathtaking modern sensibility combined with traditional African rhythms and steps was presented in October by Contemporary Dance Theater.

2. Gala of International Ballet Stars - For the second straight year, ballet tech ohio has assembled scads of world famous dancers. They converged at the Aronoff Center in August to strut their stuff, with choreography from Alonzo King and John Cranko.

3. Come Together Festival - Contemporary styles of choreography put Cincinnati Ballet members like Jay Goodlett, the company's finest contemporary dancer, in the spotlight in March. The farewell performance of principal Lorna Feijoo was scorching.

4. Dayton Contemporary Dance Company - Artistic director and resident choreographer Kevin Ward and associate artistic director Debbie Blunden-Diggs keep founder Jeraldyne Blunden's vision alive with blazing performances from dancers like Sheri Williams.

5. Guest professionals in pre-professional productions - Cincinnati Ballet's eye-catching Sarah Hairston and high jumping Andrey Kasatsky got to do a full-length classic; ballet tech ohio performing arts association kids got to appear on stage with them.

6. Choreographers Without Companies - Contemporary Dance Theater again provided an outlet for the resilient, creative local choreographers and dancers.

7 & 8. Cincinnati Ballet's collaborations - We were able to see Columbus' BalletMet dancers with Cincinnati dancers in a sparkling, fully-staged version of Balanchine's Jewels in October; in November, a collaboration with the Cincinnati Arts Association brought the world-famous Paul Taylor Dance Company to town.

9. Performance and Time Arts Series - In its ninth year, Contemporary Dance Theater continues to provide a solid slot for avant garde choreography and dance with its emphasis on the experimental at its College Hill Town Hall home.

10. A city rich in dance - This writer couldn't fit everything she wanted to see into her schedule. For a dance fan, it's a kick to live in Cincinnati.


Best of 2003: Classical music
Best of 2003: Film
Best of 2003: Theater
Best of 2003: Dance
Best of 2003: Pop music
Best of 2003: Visual art

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