Review: Can You Can-Can?

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During the Nov. 14 fall dance performance entitled Canvas in Motion, Hockaday dancers came together to produce a show inspired by the art and music of post-WWI Paris, choreographing and performing pieces that ranged from classic ballet to contemporary dance to a lively can-can.

The show started out quite humorously with a ballet class routine by Hockaday Dance Theater, in which St. Mark’s drama teacher Rod Blaydes played ballet master and strutted his stuff, even executing a fair port de bras, a dance sequence involving coordinated arm movements.

The next few pieces continued more lyrically as they were inspired by the work of Chagall, Laurencin and early Picasso. Of these pieces, the most exciting and inventive bit of choreography was Dance Lab’s Circus, a combination of contemporary dance with rhythmic gymnastics and twirling ribbons that complemented the dancers’ movements.

The most highly anticipated event, however, was the unveiling of the costumes for Hockaday Dance Theater’s piece The Three Dancers. Each hand painted and inspired by Picasso’s cubist style, the costumes were the product of many hours of work by the advanced art students.

The show ended with a bang as Hockaday Dance Theater recreated the old French can-can with numerous variations on the classic kick line, executing eye-high kicks to rival those of the Rockettes.

Mary Clare