The Color Palate of Dance
Kaleena Miller Dance Company – SHIFT
The Southern Theater, Minneapolis
June 22-25, 2017
Red. It represents many things within our world: Energy, Dominance, Passion, Love, Danger, Attention, Power. When red is present, people take notice. Tonight, whether we all knew it or not, we were on notice.
The definition of red in one dictionary caught my attention: “the hue of the long-wave end of the visible spectrum, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy.” Radiant Energy. I’m beginning to think Kaleena had a plan in mind.
However, this wasn’t just any red. Remember, Night Two we had a blush pink. Not the “normal” pink one thinks of when that word is spoken. So tonight, we had Maroon. A color that “represents an action that is more restrained and sophisticated.” Now it all makes sense. As a side note, I only interacted with Kaleena a few times before these shows, but even if I had never met her and ONLY saw her dance, this would be how I would describe her as a person. She’s powerful, yet restrained; sure of herself and sophisticated. She stands out, but not one of ego or boasting. A powerful silence, a muted brightness, but not dulled to the senses. Maroon was the perfect color for tonight.
Last night there was a shift in energy; a subtle color change, a playful mood, a rowdy crowd and a transformation in music styles. Tonight, though, SHIFT moved to another plane. This night, Night Three, the dancers were on fire. The crowd was fully involved and it was the largest of the three nights. We all felt it, even if someone hadn’t been there any of the other nights, you’d be able to tell tonight was something special. We were in for a wild ride.
The music has evolved each night just as the dancers have. Intense and structured to playful and free. Once again, nothing here is good or bad. They are each their own, just as the music is unique and created by a different composer or artist. It’s extraordinary when you sit back and think about it.
As tonight came around, there was yet another assumption that only the music would change and maybe a few improv performances, but there was one major change: The Noah and Bruce Dance-Off had music added to their choreography. When the music started, I thought maybe their duet had been moved to another part of the show, but knowing that the choreography had to stay the same, what was going to happen? As anyone would expect when music is added to a dance, what got created is almost impossible to put into words. As an aside, much of this write-up has taken me days to write as I’m trying not to repeat words and explanations for things I can’t seem to find the right phrases for. This is one of those times I just need to show you a video of their performance (and I hope there is one!), but in the meantime, I will note here that it was one of the highlights of the entire 4 performances. These two guys DANCE and they work off each other in ways that only masters can and I don’t use that word lightly. It was gorgeous and fun. The music brought a less intense element from the other two nights, but there was still a cool darkness and unique collaboration that I hope many, many people get to see in the future. Thank you, boys.
For the night, overall there was less interaction on stage, but the dancers were “in tune” the best so far. There was a freedom present, whether it was from the music or it being the third night, that allowed all the dancers to shine like they hadn’t Thursday and Friday. For me, this was the “Best” show of the three. But once again, do I need to compare? I could pick out individual parts of the show each night that were the “gold star” of the entire run. But for now, I can say that Night Three saw Kaleena’s vision of SHIFT being realized.
Intense. Moody. Modern. Connected. Musicial. Freedom.
THIS was night three of SHIFT.