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PERFORMING ARTS

A group of dancers played finger cymbals while stepping across the stage and creating lines and shapes with their arms; later, two dancers balanced swords on their heads as they performed lightning-fast torso movements. The highlights of the program were solos danced by Rachel Kay Brookmire and the single-named Chiaki and Elysa. The soloists seemed to become more expressive and impassioned when they were not preoccupied with maintaining group uniformity.

Sharing the program, AVAdance/SpiritMotion presented "Slightly Uncomfortable," a multimedia work featuring choreography by Michelle Ava, original music by Tony Bernardi, poetry by Marshall Ball and video by Rachel Storey and Anthony Brock. Using simple, mostly pedestrian-style movement, the choreography tried to show not only the relevance of Ball's poetry to today's global conflicts and crises, but also how one can find peace in a tumultuous world.

Unfortunately, the project was conceptually convoluted. Ava was trying to express so many ideas that none of them had the chance to fully develop. Additionally, the interdisciplinary elements often competed for audience attention, rather than complement each other. The show's strength was its performers, whose character portrayals were authentic and realistic.

-- Sarah Halzack

FloydProject Dance Company

FloydProject Dance Company addressed the empowerment of women in a formulaic way Friday at the Warehouse Theater.

"Not Every Woman . . . What's Your Story?" was built on women's stories collected on the troupe's Web site by company director Debra K. Floyd. The theme was worthy and the dancers intense. Floyd, who choreographed the program, knows how to move dancers around the stage to keep up interest. But good intentions and hard work aren't enough to make up for cliches. Dancers went from being hunched over and looking dejected to being upbeat, saucy and dressed in red.

Too much earnestness can be off-putting. Floyd has the chops to choreograph, but she would do well to treat this weighty subject with a little more subtlety.

-- Pamela Squires


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