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un nuevo aliento (a new breath) by Dulce Dance Company

​Dulce Dance Company and guest choreographers transformed the Icehouse in downtown Phoenix during the company’s season performance, un nue vo aliento (a new breath). Candy Jimenez’ choreography reflected her physically intense aesthetic and gravitational pull toward the baseline in music. An especially profound performance was given by Dulce dancer, Rebecca Boizelle with lofty extended limbs, sharp contractions, and a coiling spine. The company is comprised of dedicated dancers who like Boizelle, are not afraid to throw their bodies onto the ground. One of Jimenez’s strongest pieces of the evening was The Eve Complex where four women tossed their bodies into one another’s arms and propelled themselves in every direction. The spatial and choreographic construction of this piece was visually enticing and seamlessly integrated.

Other works by Jimenez in the show were not as successful with spatial arrangements and integration of the entire group. 4x2 was humorous and light-hearted, and enjoyed by the audience. However, the dancers would frequently break away into dance solos that disconnected the relationship between the characters on stage. The performance frequently shifted from a humorous story to a series of contemporary dance modifications of turns, leaps, and rolls. The characterization also seemed to lack complete commitment from the dancers, leaving sections with insincere expressions that felt contrived and over-the-top.

Guest choreographer Nicole L. Olson presented a marvelous work that displayed character and poise in Chaise Musicale. The dancers exemplified an expectation of perfection by remaining attuned with one another. The theme and variations were appropriate for the work, and were never over-utilized. Other guest choreographers, Diane McNeal Hunt, George Johnson, and Amber Robins, presented original works during the show.

The evening ended with La Dulceria, an enjoyable and entertaining piece. La Dulceria is to Dulce as Revelations is to Alvin Ailey. This piece is a prime expression of Dulce Dance as a company. The piece contains elements of Hispanic culture, and emphasizes individuality and diversity among the dancers. The evening overall was entirely too long, running almost 2.5 hours! It is understandable that the dancers were completely exhausted by this point in the evening, especially due to the athletic demands of Jimenez’ choreography, but they were still able to leave the audience feeling rejuvenated!

Reviewed by Julie Akerly

May 31, 8pm Show

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