Art heals. Art inspires. Art is personal and communal.

Dance Kaleidoscope

What are you grateful for?

This is the question posed by artistic director David Hochoy to members of the Dance Kaleidoscope company as they choregraphed this year’s performance. The result is gritty, diverse, and uplifting! The opening tonight during the 2021 Indyfringe Festival marked the first live performance of the DK company in 17 months.

The show featuring six short dances is fantastic! Great choreography, great dancers, great music … it has it all! Take that global pandemic!

Dancers: Stuart Coleman, Emily Dyson, Emily Franks, Kieran King, Marie Kuhns

“feast.” kicks off the show. Choreographed by Sarah Taylor, it does a beautiful job of showcasing the high points, and points of frustration, associated with being in lockdown over the past year. Her main gratitude inspiration was family and family dinners. You will notice that the dancers cannot leave the state during the dance, just like we couldn’t leave our homes during lockdown either! Sit back and enjoy the close-quarters tension between the dancers, as well as the love between members despite challenges. The rhythmic movements around the dinner table are fantastic!

“Beneath the Embers” is the second dance and is dedicated to all bodies. The choreography by Paige Robinson is a charming reminder that our bodies can do amazing things! We are reminded of the complicated relationship we have with our bodies. What starts out in childhood without any judgement or shame often evolves into being criticisized. When we are young, our legs are made for running, our big bellies are made for kisses, and we jump and play without thinking anything about it. Why must we learn to criticize our bodies when we grow? Can you go back to a time before self destruction and remember to be grateful for your body that moves, lives, and loves?

“True Sacrifice” is next and is a piece to honor those in the armed forces and their loved ones. Choreographed by Emily Dyson, this number takes a hard look at what freedom in our country truly means. The movements illustrate gratitude of the many freedoms we enjoy here in the United States, both constiutionally and as an individuals. We are free to grow and change. We are free to protect and serve. This freedom, however, does not come without sacrifice. The dance alluringly portrays the triumphs and tribulations of service members and their families. Though they may be separated, they remain close at heart.

Dancers: Kieran King, Marie Kuhns Aleksa Coffey, Stuart Coleman, Emily Franks, Paige Robinson

sakebu” is the fourth dance choreograped by Natalie Clevenger. Above all else, this number demonstrates gratitude for the struggles and triumphs associated with growth. Despite many steps forward, though, America as a whole is still hurting. We are reminded that our capitalistic society forces us to hide our pain for the sake of progress. As we grow and change as people and country, we will witness struggle and pain. This is within ourselves and in others. No matter what, though, we will continue to rise above and help each other. The dancers acknowledge their privaledge and duty to others in gorgeous movement.

“Stills of Growth” is the fifth dance of the show choreographed by Marie Kuhns. The dance is an captivating expression of gratitude for life experience and how it shapes you. It is very easy to be grateful for the good times. It is not as easy to be grateful during the hard times. However, we are reminded that the hard times are important. The times that we feel uncomfortable, shy, embarrassed, and challenged have an important impact on who we are and what we become. The dance includes jilted, seemingly painful movements that grow in confidence. What a great reminder to be grateful for all of life’s challenges!

“Reflections of the Wounded” is the finale full of gorgeous introspection. Choreographed by Manuel Valdes, the dance is a compelling showcase of time spent in quarantine and lockdown and the self-reflection it afforded. This past year has been unlike any other in history, a time of isolation, protest, and fear. We can’t let this stop us from changing for the better, personally and as a country. As we stumble our way through a new normal, we must learn to live again. In the end, we will be grateful for this time to relearn how to love ourselves and others. We will be grateful as we fight for justice and peace. This dance includes the entire company. It does an exceptional job of showing the internal external struggles of humanity.

Dance Kaleidoscope is a festival favorite, and their newest show will not disappoint. Prepare to be surprised, elated and thankful for Acts of Gratitude, featuring new and eclectic works by company dancers who invite you to be deviant, feast and grow beneath the embers. 

You can purchased tickets to Acts of Gratitude here.