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Making a Killing: Ballet Quad Cities Premieres "Murder Mystery at the Ballet," October 9 through 17 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Dance
Written by Mike Schulz   
Thursday, 01 October 2015 06:00

Murder Mystery at the Ballet, cover photo by Joseph S. MaciejkoWith a foreboding Beethoven composition lending an incongruously somber air to the proceedings, Ballet Quad Cities’ ensemble is rehearsing. The brightly lit studio space finds the 10 company members engaged in all manner of movement during these five minutes of Ludwig van: two male dancers tussling in the foreground; another male skulking in the background; a petite female gliding amongst her fellow dancers and voicelessly addressing one with an accusatory glare.

A quartet of ensemble members collectively lunges and thrusts while, on the other side of the studio, a young woman makes seductive overtures toward one of her scene partners, and, eventually, nearly everyone lines up to gracefully pass a fist-sized, invisible prop from one dancer to another. That’s when choreographer Courtney Lyon comes up to me and, regarding the unseen object, whispers, “That’s a bottle of poison.”

Given that many of the company’s recent fall productions have found guest performer Domingo Rubio casually killing dancers in his role as Dracula, the appearance (or, at this moment, non-appearance) of a potential murder weapon in a Ballet Quad Cities endeavor shouldn’t raise anyone’s eyebrows. What might, however, is the degree of difficulty involved in the company’s 2015-16 season-opener Murder Mystery at the Ballet – a world premiere in which, as of that September 21 rehearsal, even its chief creator doesn’t know whodunit.

 
Spring in Their Steps: Ballet Quad Cities' "Spring Is in the Air" at the Adler Theatre PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Dance
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 06:00

Emily Long and Alec Roth in Spring Is in the AirThere were several moments during the evening performance of Spring Is in the Air – presented April 12 at the Adler Theatre – in which I sat slack-jawed in awe of the choreography executed by Ballet Quad Cities.

 
"Coffee" First, Tragedy After: Ballet Quad Cities' "Carmen," February 14 and 15 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Dance
Written by Thom White   
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 06:00

Patrick Green and Jill Schwartz in Ballet Quad Cities' CarmenAfter two years of Love Stories for its Valentine’s Day production, Ballet Quad Cities changed things up this year by presenting Carmen, the story of a commanding woman who does what she pleases with men she fleetingly fancies. As with Love Stories, though, there was more than one piece performed this past weekend, with choreographer Margaret Huling’s “Black Coffee” – a jaunty, jazzy number also featured in last year’s Love Stories: Love on the Run – making up the first portion of the evening’s entertainment.

 
That Galumpha Thing: Quad City Arts’ Latest Visiting Artists Present Dance, Acrobatics, and Human Architecture, January 25 at St. Ambrose University PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Dance
Written by Mike Schulz   
Friday, 17 January 2014 06:00

When telling friends about particularly unusual and impressive stage performances, “You have to see it to believe it” is a commonly employed cliché. In the case of a stage performance by the East Coast talents of Galumpha, the latest guests in Quad City Arts’ Visiting Artists series, a more appropriate sentiment might be “You have to see it to understand it.” (And, also, to believe it.)

 
Fangtastic: Ballet Quad Cities' "Dracula" PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Dance
Written by Thom White   
Monday, 14 October 2013 06:00

Domingo Rubio in 2012's DraculaDomingo Rubio left no doubt that his Count Dracula was in charge during Friday’s performance of Ballet Quad Cities’ Dracula at Moline's Scottish Rite Cathedral. (The production ended its two-night run on Saturday.) From his bat-like entrance – with the dancer slowly flapping his black cape from front to back as he made his way through the darkened auditorium – to his death, Rubio’s Dracula never seemed controlled by anyone, and that included choreographer Deanna Carter. Rubio gave the impression that his Dracula wasn’t moving because Carter gave him predetermined choreography, but because it was the way he wanted to move.

 
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