Modern moves

REVIEW: Modern dance is known as the rebellion against ballet. For those who have never seen this type of performance, just think of the word “abstract.” The dancers don’t wear shoes, there doesn’t have to be a story line and all choreography comes from the way the choreographer felt when he or she made the dance. Basically, there are no rules. To appreciate this not-so-well-known type of dance, the audience must keep an open mind before, during and after the production.

When people think of a dance concert, images of The Nutcracker may flash through their minds. However, the Spring Dance Concert put on by the USF School of Theatre and Dance is anything but the typical clean-cut dance image. It is a combination of four modern dance pieces, highlighting José Limón’s Missa Brevis in Tempore Belli. The dances Uncertain Weather, Suspended Cages and A Little Less… are performed in the first act. Choreographed by Lorelei Bayne, Uncertain Weather is a piece in which 14 dancers move around the stage gracefully to depict just what the title says: “uncertain weather.” I found Suspended Cages to be the hardest piece to understand and definitely the most abstract. Carolina Garcia, the choreographer and soloist, put on a great performance; however, I just don’t really know what she was trying to portray or why the dance was called Suspended Cages. The third and final piece of the first act was A Little Less…. I found this to be the most fun piece of the production. Different clips of country music played while six girls dressed in jean capris and brightly colored shirts performed what looked like an abstract hoedown.

After a 10-minute intermission, the troupe performed the main piece, José Limón’s Missa Brevis in Tempore Belli. According to the concert’s program, the Missa Brevis is a celebration of the triumph of human spirit in times of testing. On a state department-sponsored tour to war-ravaged Poland in 1958, Limón was inspired by the optimism and lack of rancor in the Polish people. Their undiminished faith moved him to create a new work. “In the ruins of Poland I found a dance. I shall make a dance which is an act of faith,” Limón is quoted as saying in the program. I find this piece to be an inspiring story of the village. I would recommend the Spring Dance Concert to USF students and the community.

The University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance’s José Limón’s Missa Brevis and Other Dances runs from Feb. 18-26. Tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.