Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Turning Corners

There are two more opportunities to see the Pamela Trokanski Dance Theatre’s 2017 fall concert, “Turning Corners.”

Eight dancers, ages 9 to 87, ask the question: “Have you ever gone walking, turned a corner, and found a whole new view before you?” It explores how looking at familiar things from a different perspective can have a profound impact on your life.

Each of the dancers has recorded memories of life-altering experiences in his or her life with dances, both solo and ensemble. Unlike previous Trokanski concerts that use a wide range of musical styles (from Pink Floyd to Mozart to Weird Al Yankovic), music for this concert by Jeff Russo and Zoe Keating all seems to have the same title, “Sleeping at Last,” so it’s difficult to differentiate between numbers.

The enjoyment of this delightful show actually starts before the music, with the tongue-in-cheek warnings about cell phones and crying babies, which is definitely different from what you will hear elsewhere.

The performers include members of the Pamela Trokanski Dance Theatre, the PTDT Apprentice Company and Third Stage, a multigenerational group.

To start things, 9-year-old Asher Habicht recalls his decision to become a vegan. Habicht, who has danced with Trokanski for a few years now, is a marvel. He has a couple of solos and is in every ensemble number. His dancing is as crisp, clean and synchronized as that of the adults around him.

Allegra Silberstein, 87, the first poet laureate of Davis, has been performing with Trokanski for many years. She recounted her first “turning corners” epiphany when discussing the dangers of communism with her college professor in the 1950s and her surprise when he contrasted communism to Catholicism.

Other dancers recall such issues as adapting to summer camp, the decision to move to New York, the decision of whether to switch majors and a very funny piece about driving (fear of turning left, so spending a lot of time plotting how to get somewhere using only right turns).

The dancers invite the audience to look at their lives upside-down and see what they discover — perhaps relating day-to-day activities with frustrating news out of Washington.

The athletic choreography is both lyrical and militaristic, flowing and funny — and one must notice how much boot sound one can get out of bare feet!

The piece, one act slightly under an hour in length, is a great bit of evening entertainment.

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