Dance Directors of Orlando at the new Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre.
by Carl F. Gauze
I stopped by Orlando’s sparkling new “Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre” the other night and saw some wonderful modern dance. Financed by the titular arts supporter Harriet Lake, “HOBC” provides a central location for dance and related performing arts. This impressive venue stands just across the street from the Orlando Science Center garage, and a ton of white went into it: white floors, white walls, white rest rooms, white ceilings, white sidewalks. Beautiful, but it should be a pain to keep clean. Inside the spacious new performance space, we find an enormous performance space with good acoustics and clear sight lines, a bar, a reception area, classrooms and a deck overlooking lovely Lake Formosa. It’s quite impressive.
A half dozen troupes presented several dance routines eash, and here are some highlights. We open with the Crawford Jazz Project whose nine member troupe offer “Swimming.” Nine dancers in a well organized ensemble productions with flowing motions suggests a water ballet on land. Later they returned with the more intimate “You and I” danced to music by Michael Buble to enthusiastic applause, and they close with the moving “See You Again,” a dance of sweet parting.
Vincent Sanrocca Choreography stepped up next with “If the World Was Ending.” It always is, and this large eight member troop mixed bits of modern and ballroom motions to a more romantic end. Their encore performance “Simple” was just that: seven dancers handling the basics with a precise eye and faultless placement. They wore traditional black leotards, stepped sharp, and kept us enthralled.
Now Emotions Dance appears with “Cold,” a duet between a man and a woman with all the symbolism one might expect in a cooling relation. A quiet but intense piece, it dripped sensuality. Emotions Dance returned to wrap up the first act with the ambitions “One Moment in Time” fueled by a Whitney Huston soundtrack and lead by Lasriss Humiston, the organizer of this showcase. They return later to close the show with “Vogue,” recalling the early days of MTV and its its eccentric fashion sense.
There were nearly 20 arrangements here, all intriguing and mysterious. The space is great, the sound good and the sight lines clear even if I could see dancers in the wings, waiting to take the stage.