Folded Prism by Thang Dao opened the evening with an ensemble work for nine dancers, who were placed upstage right with their backs to the audience. With a collective breath Dao immediately established a sense of community. These dancers were kindred spirits moving with a collective purpose.

Bodies effortless exploded skyward, then cascaded down; enveloped into a chasm surrounded by bodies. The use of level reinforced his multiple sculptural motifs that distinguished the work and again strengthened the overall compositional structure. A major component was a series of duets; each developed his theme with seamless movement and arresting visual imagery.

The one exception was a male duet, which was accompanied by a more percussive passage by composer John Lewis. William Burden and Joe Gonzalez (who is svelte this season- congrats) performed with a healthy dose of testosterone, offset by focused intensity. This produced an athletic encounter thankfully void of aggression and overt competition. All of the duets possessed an appealing mix of abandon and controlled order. The work ended with the dancer returning to their upstage community, thus providing a satisfying and holistic resolution.

Walter Rutledge


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