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J. Cohen


Joffrey Concert Group & Limon2
in performances & classes


April 13, 2024
Joffrey Concert Group with guest company Limon2
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center,246 West 60th St., NYC
Reviewed by J. Cohen Saturday, April 13, 2024

Random people with beautiful parts.
Photo by Kyle Froman.

The energy was high Saturday afternoon at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center as dancers aged  mid-teens to mid-20s from the Joffrey and Limon Junior Companies took to the stage. With bold athleticism and intention they were fully invested in serving the program's various styles of choreography. 

Community, the overriding theme, felt wholly appropriate and the dancers responded as one.

"Random People With Beautiful Parts," choreographed by Joffrey Concert Group Artistic Director Bradley Shelver opened the program. With torsos expanding and lifting upwards and legs extending into quick développés I got the feeling of chicks hatching and breaking out of their shells. It was a lovely way to be introduced to this young company and their faux competition spirit was engaging.

Joffrey's highlights included "Don't Make Me Wish I Didn't...", choreography by William Carlos Angulo who also designed the sassy, gender neutral, off-white sweatpants and midriff ensembles. It's a smart, sexy piece that the dancers, every inch a working unit, serve up in sharp, contemporary, staccato silhouettes, fluidly vacillating between proud to angry to resolve and back again. 

"The Relentless Nature Of Dreaming" choreographed by Eryn Renee Young gave the dancers an opportunity to show off their pure ballet technique. Filling the stage in Erica Johnston's welcome burst of coral leotards, Jacob Glendenning and Faakhir Bestman delivered a hauntingly muscular pas de deux and Akari Kato, with her quick footedness and easy smile was a quintessential spright. 

Photo by Kyle Froman.

Every element fell into place magnificently in the Limon  classic "Suite from There Is A Time". Choreographed by Mr. Limon, with music by Norman Dello Joio, it originally premiered in 1956 and looks and feels of that time to glorious effect. The circle, the simple gestures, the controlled tension, the release of the entire frame, the window into who the people of this particular community are. Kudos to the entire company. Standouts were Ryan Tucker's lost young man, hands clasped behind his back, bound and trapped, Jasmine Presti's ode to joy, and Danielle Goodman's wildeyed outcast who brought to mind Piper Laurie's mother in Carrie.That is meant as a huge compliment! 

Commitment is key and it was delivered throughout. May the force be with each and every one of you. 

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