“Now that is the kind of dance that I can get into,” is what I heard the couple behind me say as they exited “Underland: White Nightmare II,” presented this weekend by Halo Movement Collective. The twisted take on Alice and Wonderland did not disappoint.
The set was as white as the Holy Ghost, but the plot line was as deranged as the mad hatter himself. The audience was driven into a wor
mhole by the dub-step heavy soundtrack accompanied by twisted visuals.
Artistic director, media designer, costume designer and choreographer, Angel Castro, developed a complete production. The costumes were individually crafted for each character. They were elegant and filled with intricate beaded and laced detailing.
Castro exemplified the strengths of his performers, and selected a cast based on the characters he was creating. At times the characterization overpowered the emphasis on movement dynamics and technical execution. However, that did not detract from the overall professionalism of the show. Once all of the production elements were combined, "Underland: White Nightmare II" was an incredibly polished show.
The choreography transitioned studio jazz training into professional contemporary jazz performance. Very rarely can a back walkover fit into professional dance choreography. However, playing the nonsensical roles of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, cartwheels and back walkovers were completely appropriate.
Another talent that Castro utilized during the performance was aerial work. A cocoon evolving into the caterpillar is the ultimate reason to include aerial work in a show. The Caterpillar, played by Jenna Lyn Myers, smoothly transitioned up the silks, and executed drops with an awareness of timing that took the movement far beyond trickery.
Angel Castro should be further acknowledged for his talents as a producer and marketer. There were many people at the show who were attending their first professional dance performance, and from the standing ovation, appeared willing to return to more Halo Movement Productions.
This review can also be viewed on Downtown Devil Curtain Critic!
Photography by Rachel Hawkinson
Review by Julie Akerly
November 15 @ 7pm