Blur Emotions Dance
With Turning Pointe
Choreographed by Larissa Humiston
Orlando Rep Black Box, Orlando FL

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dance company huffing and puffing as much as Emotions. I know dance is hard work, but isn’t the premise that all that motion is magically effortless? Still, this short run was well received and close to sold out, and nearly everyone coming into the lobby had flowers or a potted plant. I asked a friend if we forgot something, but it seems he hadn’t gotten the flower memo either.

Opening act ‘Turning Pointe” is a young people’s troupe that combines bits of classic ballet, hip hop and cheerleading. I’m always hesitant to talk about young performers, but these girls were all charming and flexibility, and presented a confident and energetic performance called “Money.” I hope to see them all when they grow up.

The main event “Blur” contained six themed segments and was lead by principle dancer Cindy Heen. Her solo “Innocence” recalled the earliest days of modern dance; she mixed bits of classical ballet with wilder “Rites of Spring” moments and brought them together to end with a smiling “Dying Swan.” “Coffee Fix” riffed off the Starbucks experience, the varieties of sugared caffeine are infinite in the coffee universe, but in the dance universe they reduces to competent yet basic moves done in the classic green barista apron. “5th Avenue” followed, it more about the urban experience you get outside the coffee shop. Here interesting music from Square Pusher and Frozen silence combined with ambient traffic noise served as a back drop for the rest of the troupe, and Ms Heen appeared in a black plastic trash bag over her otherwise attractive cream and sparkles dance outfit.

The first act felt a bit short, but we soon came back with additional urban reflections. “Crowded Streets” put Daft Punk and Blue Man Group behind the dancers. There was reprise of the famous Groucho / Harpo “Miming in front of an invisible mirror” to open the segment, and then the troupe appeared with cool electric rave gloves filed with colored LED’s, it’s something Fosse might have considered had the technology been available. “Prime Time” used television motifs and Lady Gaga music as its driver. I probably missed most of the references as my TV box took a lightening hit in 2009 and I’ve been internet only ever since. Wrapping up the evening we experienced “Connection”, the TV themes continue but now we flip over to ESPN where sportscasters harangue and bully; it’s like the dancers invaded a sports bar during the basket ball play offs. Overall, it was an interesting evening, with some intriguing concepts and some solid motion. I just think they need to get in a little more road work.

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