November 27, 2000
Theater Review Rockhopper Dance Theatre weds energy with style
by Katherine Bond
That's how an audience in nuptialwear responded to Rockhopper Dance Theatre's exuberant performance of "The Wedding Game" in the Cedarcrest Auditorium Nov. 18. The second of Duvall's Arts Onstage series, the program took a whimsical look at love and relationships.
The show opened with dancers flinging themselves over a sofa on their way to true happiness (while one dancer is eaten by the cushions). I'll have to admit that the mix-and-match gender pairings, as the story unfolded, were a stretch for traditional me - but art is meant to provoke dialogue, n'est-ce pas?
The most poignant number was "This-That," danced exquisitely by Lynn Carpenter, who curled her body through and around the legs of a bench, then up onto the seat, moving herself into positions that were simply impossible.
The loneliness she was able to convey solely with her shoulder blades was breathtaking.
As for timing, these Rockhoppers could patent it. If you weren't there, you missed "Always a Bridesmaid," beginning with one engaged bridesmaid admiring her ring while she waits for the bouquet to be thrown her way. Enter from stage left: one silver catcher's mitt, followed by the rest of the bridesmaid wearing it. The other mitt-clad maids enter in a cluster and vie for the title of Most-Likely-To-Marry-Next. This brought back memories of my brother-in-law's wedding. Okay, I didn't exactly LUNGE for the bouquet, just positioned myself appropriately. (And I WAS the next one married.)
The music was eclectic, featuring everything from Vivaldi to Nat King Cole.
One musical smile was the Benzedrine Monks with the plainsong version of "If You Want My Body."
Speaking of music, what was up with the sound system? Was that their tapes or our amplifiers? It sounded as if someone was sprinkling sand on the microphones. Would a school levy fix that? It's a shame to have such a professional performance marred by poor sound quality.
But the dancers made the best of it all the way to their frenzied finale, "A Night For Toasting," which I'd have called, "Waltz of the Toasters." (Andy and I received an abundance of tea kettles, as I remember.)
Don't miss December 10, when the Northwest Boychoir presents "A Festival of Lessons and Carols" at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Pumps & Grinds, Gardens & SunSpaces, Duvall Books, and Simply Grand.