Night and Day: Wednesday, January 16, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Dance of Death

Not every modern dance group can tackle Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky on the same program, but Bruce Wood Dance Company makes its own rules. Wood’s choreography brings life to everything from Lyle Lovett to familiar symphonies, and Wednesday’s program in Bass Performance Hall could rank with his best.

Two of the works have been seen before — his setting of the Tchaikovsky Third Piano Concerto and three sections of the Beethoven Sixth Symphony. The Beethoven choreography looked undernourished the first time around, following Ravel’s raucous Bolero, but should have a chance to shine here. The Tchaikovsky concerto, one of Wood’s triumphs, is a laid-back evocation of 19th-century Russian ballet with a charm and innocence that echo a kinder, gentler time when romance was prized and beauty was king. All conjured in modern dance terms.

His new piece, a setting of the Mozart Requiem, may be Wood’s most powerful dance statement. Seen in rehearsal, the ballet unfolds as a rich visual tapestry that captures the nobility and majesty of Mozart’s great mass. Ignoring the Latin text and listening to the music, he matches the score with a surging dance vocabulary of angles and abrupt mood shifts. “It was tough setting a big piece for chorus, orchestra, and vocal soloists with 12 dancers,” Wood said, “but that’s why I did it. If I don’t challenge myself, I don’t grow.”

Money woes have hit here as everywhere else, and the company has canceled its April appearance. It returns to Bass Hall in July. —Leonard Eureka

Bruce Wood Dance Company, 8pm Wed. at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $20-75. Call 817-212-4280.


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