Merilyn Jackson,For The Inquirer Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012, 3:01 AM
Last spring, Koresh Dance Company thrilled audiences with a new full-length Bolero. The mono-themed work was a departure for company artistic director and choreographer Roni Koresh, who often devises multiple loosely connected episodes. In its current run at the Suzanne Roberts Theater, which opened Thursday, Koresh fell back into his comfort zone with a 15-section work he calls Trust.
Trust among dancers is always a significant element - they must thrust themselves into one another's waiting arms, be lifted aloft, spun in the air, or dragged along by the arm. One false calculation in the counts or a split second's distraction can lead to a fall or a crash.
So from this perspective, I watched in awe as this well-trained troupe averted what could have been major trouble. Less than a week ago company dancer Shannon Bramham lost her father, and she was unable to dance. Her colleagues quickly assumed her roles, closing ranks for a seamless and triumphant whole.
This can only happen when a company builds esprit by keeping a core group for many years, as with Koresh stars Melissa Rector, Fang-Ju Chou Gant, Jessica Dailey, Eric Bean, Micah Geyer, and Alexis Viator. But newer dancers keep things fresh. Thursday, the big guy on stage, Joseph Cotler, created volume and power, and the newest man, Robert Tyler, who studied with Cotler, sparked things with his sinuous torso and expressive arms.
While there could have been a little more segue between sections, some brilliant musical choices gave the show balance and variety. Bach's Air on a G String had the full company dancing in abstract mid-tempo contrapuntal moves against the music. Following quickly on the fast-paced, high-fisted, confrontational "Space" segment, which was set to the wild energy of Mercan Dede's Turkish world music, it was a delightfully startling choice. A lighthearted duet between Dailey and Asya Zlatina rounded out the section.
Another gorgeous section had five couples almost jitterbugging to Albinoni's Adagio for Organ and Strings. The music for another, called "Connect," was by the Palestinian oud players Le Trio Joubran. The finale, "Shout," launched to the cacophonous percussion of Les Tambours du Bronx but ended with the company quietly presenting itself to us.
The musical and movement choices spanned eras, geographies, cultures, and ideologies and maybe, just maybe, pointed to places where trust can be found.