return to "recent articles"

Below is an excerpt, for full "Dance Beat" article click here:

Deborah Jowitt on bodies in motion

The very diverse choreographers of the two new works echo themes and elements of the Limón works, as their titles suggest. McIntyre’s solo for Roxane D’Orleans Juste is named She Who Carries the Sky and the full-company piece by Sean Curran is called Nocturnes for Ancestors.

McIntyre has cast D’Orleans Juste, who is celebrating her thirtieth anniversary with the company, as a hero, who, like The Just Man of Psalm, is unaware that she is one of those people strong enough to bear any burden and have been chosen by God to carry part of the sky on their heads (a program quote from Edwige Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory makes this statement).

D’Orleans Juste—eloquent at conveying nuances both choreographic and emotional—appears as a powerful figure, a shaman maybe. Standing in a pool of light (lighting by Brandon Stirling Baker), she seems to stir the air, to conjure things from the earth. Once, twice, she staggers backward, as if her exertions have stirred up a bee hive.

Aware of everything around her, D’Orleans Juste bows to the four corners of the stage and often peruses the sky, as if anticipating a storm. She performs the familiar gestures of covering her eyes, her ears, her mouth, except that she pries that mouth open wide to let who knows what escape. She holds up a scarf as a kind of talisman or wraps it around herself.

The sounds of a rainstorm interrupts music by Jon Hassel and by Farafina and R. Carlos Nakari, then fades into silence. Did she cause that?

In this portrait (a trifle drawn out, but vivid), McIntyre capitalizes on D’Orleans Juste’s gift for tempering small explosions of movement and sharp little gestures with bigger, more melting steps and space-covering runs. If you’re carrying the sky, you’d better be adaptable. Sheer muscle power won’t cut it.

Copyright © 2015 Dianne McIntyre - web site by: Larry Coleman -