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Danish Dance Theatre "Black Diamond"

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Unfortunately, this show didn't quite sell out at the Kennedy Center so I was stuck going. It was what I expected: a lot of glitz without much substance. There was some vague theme centered around a man wearing baggy shorts who didn't dance much, but I never figured out what he was supposed to represent. The music was largely techno and the costumes were someone's attempt to create futuristic-looking clothing. In the opening scene, the man in the baggy shorts lay on the floor while men in biker outfits (or something that made me think of bikers) and wearing black stockings over their heads stepped over and around him. With choreography that seemed to be based on Chinese martial arts, the first thought that came into my mind was that it was an ISIS training camp, complete with prisoner to behead.

 

Subsequent sequences included a "pas de trois" which mainly consisted of a female dancer sprinting back and forth between 2 male dancers who lifted her in a variety of ways (I didn't figure out what, if anything, this scene was supposed to represent), a group of dancers stomping around while hunched over so that their hands reached the floor (were they portraying apes?), and dancers "clutching their abdomens as if in gastrointestinal distress" (to quote the Washington Post review). I pretty much tuned out the post-intermission portion (since I had a passenger, I had to stay), not even bothering to put on my glasses when the man in baggy shorts removed the clothing from one of the female dancers.

 

Of course, my opinion was in the minority. And if the goal was solely to create a work that was completely different than any other work, it succeeded. But I like to feel something when I watch a dance (or listen to music).

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