You don't have to be an expert on modern dance to enjoy and admire what Happendance does in "The Body," the company's latest concert. There's wonderful variety and astonishing energy and imagination in the nine short pieces that make up the show, and the soundtrack, which includes everything from Aretha Franklin to Edward Shearmur, is consistently surprising.
Highlights include Happendance co-artistic director Matt Bebermeyer's solo turn as an aspiring superhero in "A Single Bound," choreographed by Jennifer Morley; "Voice of the Heart," a lyrical pas de deux for Andrew Amos and Patty Villanueva that's reminiscent of Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in "Singin' in the Rain"; choreographer Angela Rich's dynamic "Lightning Flashes," in which Amos, Bebermeyer, Tracy Holtzer, Emma Martin and Amanda Tollstam literally stomp up a storm; and Bebermeyer's "You Can't Close a Door Once It's Open," which explores the shifting emotions and heartbreaks of young love.
"My Image, My Body" delves into the dangers of buying into the impossibly perfect role models sold by the beauty industry, with a cast of young women desperately trying to dodge merciless mirrors as their recorded thoughts and insights are heard in the background. "It's not real" becomes a grim mantra; sadly, for many girls, those airbrushed bodies and Photoshopped complexions seem very real indeed.
It's an outstanding evening of dance. Bebermeyer, co-director Missy Lilje and the other choreographers should feel quite proud of the program.
"The Body" is performed at 8 p.m. Friday, March 5 and Saturday, March 6 at Hannah Center Auditorium, 819 Abbot Rd. in East Lansing. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors (cash or check only, please). "Body & Sole," an afterglow, will follow Saturday's performance; tickets to the afterglow are $25 for adults and $10 for patrons under 21.
For more information, call (517) 333-3528 or visit www.happendance.org.�