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B. Moore Dance Season 3 Finale

B. Moore Dance Season 3 Finale

Create + Innovate + Repeat

B. Moore Dance

Choreography by Bridget L. Moore
Music: “Gelem, Gelem” by Laszio Borteri & Niko Radic, “Molto Enrollado (Bulerias)” by Renaud Garcia-Fons & David Pena Dorantes, “Flamenco Solea Solo Compas 76” by Manuel Salado, “Gelem” by Gerard Ferrer, “Flamenco Solea Solo Compas 240” by Manuel Salado, “A los Santos del Cielo” by Cameron de las Isla, “Blue Oscilliant,” by Kangding Ray
Dancers: Jenna Davis, Tay Diggs, Sebastian Garcia, Carolyn Fisher, Rayven Leak, Lydia Parnell, Xavier Santafield, Anthony Wade Jr., Jordan Willis, Marcus Williams
Costume Design: Fernando Hernandez
Lighting Design: Christopher M. Ham

ROSE GOLD (World Premiere)
Choreography by Bridget L. Moore
Music: Hania Rani, Ezio Bosso
Dancers: Jenna Davis, Tay Diggs, Carolyn Fisher, Rayven Leak, Lydia Parnell, Anthony Wade Jr., Jordan Willis
Costume Design: Fernando Hernandez
Lighting Design: Christopher M. Ham

Choreography by Bridget L. Moore
Music: Janet Jackson
Dancers: Darius Aldridge, Jenna Davis, Tay Diggs, Sebastian Garcia, Carolyn Fisher, Rayven Leak, Lydia Parnell, Xavier Santafield, Stephanie Shirley, Anthony Wade Jr., Jordan Willis, Marcus Williams
Costume Design: Fernando Hernandez
Lighting Design: Christopher M. Ham

Reviewed Performance: 7/8/2022

Reviewed by Stacey Upton, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

B. Moore Dance was founded in 2018 and is a Dallas-based contemporary modern dance company. Founded by Bridget L. Moore, part of the company’s mission statement is “to empower and transcend generations through the art of dance.” That mission was on full display at their finale of Season Three. The evening was utterly transcendent, the talented dancers fulfilling B. Moore’s brilliant, innovative choreography with full extensions, gorgeous lines, powerful strength, and pure joyful energy.

Each piece was unique. Before we delve into the intricacies of this stunning celebration of dance, I want to highlight how much the stunning costume designs by Fernando Hernandez enhanced the experience. From backless Bolero outfits complete with brimmed hats to light, rose-colored full skirts that swirled in complex motion to shiny leather pants and ripped hose that left nothing to the imagination, the costumes were both functional and sexy, perfectly complimenting the dances and the dancers. Kudos to this designer.

Just as many kudos and applause were earned by the lighting designer, Christopher M. Han. His use of saturated block color, shafting beams of light, and projections were stunning. There were moments when the dance and the lighting intersected so perfectly it was as if the dancers were magically flying through the air. He caught and highlighted moments of tenderness as effortlessly as he reminded us of all the Black men, women, and children the world has lost; the juxtaposition of the names of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Botham Jean, Sandra Bland, George Floyd, and (too many) more flashing on the screen in a stunning visual collage during JANET. with the sensuous movement of the dancers was painful and sublime.

This perfect coalescence of vision and emotion comes directly from the leadership of the choreographer and director for this company, Bridget L. Moore. Her work is exceptional. In a brief conversation with this lovely, soft-spoken woman, who is both a teacher and a creative thinker, I found out that she is much in demand here in Dallas and elsewhere for her choreographic skills for theatre as well as pure dance. A graduate of Booker T. Washington herself, she still teaches there, as well as finding the space and time to create incredibly intricate, moving pieces of art using human bodies as they move through space, time, and emotion.

The three pieces of her work on display for this performance displayed incredible diversity and were emotionally compelling. Moore can draw emotion not just from her dancers and the story they are telling, but also from us, the audience. We were swept up and engaged throughout the delightful evening.

The first piece, SKETCHES OF FLAMES uses a series of folk songs that have been imbued with an African Dance aesthetic. It begins as a flamenco, the dancers in red jackets, black skirts, and skin-tight black pants. We were immediately on notice that this piece was going to be a passionate one. Starting with fast, classic flamenco, it was then emboldened as more dancers joined, their every movement delineated as black silhouettes against a vibrant red background of light. The sinuous push-pull of the dance was palpable.

Later in the piece, the mood became reminiscent of Balinese shadow puppets, arms held just so, the backdrop a sunset orange. A stunning series of floating lifts and carries by a single male and female dancer was breathtaking and a highlight of the evening.

Repeating elements held SKETCHES OF FLAMES together as it explored all aspects of love in shimmering, sometimes explosive sequences. There were moments when the blue-backdropped back-flung arms of the dancers transformed into stalking gunslingers, and the use of popping showed us the violence that can carry through love. The four men and six women who performed this piece did so seamlessly.

The next piece was the world premiere of ROSE GOLD. It had a spare design, starting with a single dancer lit by a single light high above the stage. She grew from seedling to vibrant rose in a series of ever-widening circles, discovering herself in deliberately awkward, staccato movements that served to make us happy when she bloomed into grace. The evolution of this piece had stunning, theatrical pictures as side beams of light replaced the single light, echoing the multiple dancers who joined the single one. Their linear movements in this section were powerful and rhythmic, like Egyptian friezes coming to life.

The grouping of at first one, and then an entire ensemble swirling of massive skirts about the stage transformed the dancers into roses, or perhaps petals torn from roses whirling through the air. There was a dangerous element to them too, the feel of whirling dervishes getting ready for a battle. There were moments in this piece when explosive movement was suddenly contained and then shaped into exquisitely impossible extensions of legs up, to the side, and overhead. The control needed for these elongated movements was extraordinary. They were utterly beautiful. While some of the music in this particular piece felt too dissonant at times, overall, it is the one I will be coming back to in memory. I loved the danger inherent throughout the beauty – the thorns in the rose, indeed.

The final piece, JANET. was a joyful, all-out, jam-packed kaleidoscope of movement and color. A fusion of social consciousness wrapped into hip-hop, African Dance, and more. It was a vibrant highlighting of the essence of Janet Jackson’s music. A selection of seven songs, carefully chosen from the beautiful “Black Eagle” to the final triumphant celebration of “Made for Now” erupted on the stage. Dancers with eagle feathers for capes swooped through the space. Later a slower, sensual section was like watching two leopards perform a pas de deux. This piece could have devolved into a fun, but meaningless dance jam, but the expertise required for the complex choreography didn’t allow it. I have never seen a work that demanded so much versatility from its dancers. They rose to the occasion. And then some.

As always, the Moody Performance Hall is a stunning place to see dance. It is a large but welcoming space, with an intimate feel and great acoustics. Added to the fun of this particular evening was a live DJ, who treated us to a fun bunch of Janet Jackson songs before the final piece of the evening, JANET. It got us all hopping and was a great addition.

Modern dance has had many stars rise and add to the beauty of this art form. I predict B. Moore’s name will soon be placed among them. Like Twyla Tharp, her work is rooted in the discipline of classical ballet that leaps away in surprising ways, its multitude of forms and shapes encompassing her world-view of movement. From flamenco to African dance to hip-hop to a smidge of the ballroom to restrained, linear movement, her use of stage space was superb. Her dance fusions are reminiscent of Alvin Ailey; intricate and moving, requiring her dancers to move from uniform corps du ballet precision to a stunning pas de deux, or a solo that evokes the sense of a tiny seed blooming into a rose under a single spotlight. It is a gift to get to see such exquisite artistry finding its voice and discovering it’s a beautiful one.

The fluidity of the dancers on the evening reviewed was exceeded only by their powerful strength and astonishing flexibility. B. Moore has asked her male and female dancers for versatility, and not only in moving between many diverse global dance aesthetics. They also move through the fast, intricate foot, arm, breath, body, and handwork, sometimes needing to run flat out to hit their spots as a new beat begins. Then, dynamically, they use their plasticity to move slowly through stunning arabesques that transform into new shapes, to lower their bodies to the ground in agonizingly slow motion. It is the human form, elevated. Even better, the emotion of these dancers is infectious. By the raucous, joyful end of the last piece, JANET., the audience was ready to get up and dance with these talented performers. Their expression of the complicated rhythms in all three pieces was top-notch.

I have to admit at first I was disappointed that there were no individual biographies of each of the dancers in the program so I could laud them by name for some of the work that stood out on the whole. However, as I thought about it on the way home, I realized perhaps that ensemble unity was the point. That this was another choice serving the larger vision. We are not to pick them apart, even though they are all diverse humans, just as Create + Innovate + Repeat is a diverse collection of dance styles. Instead, we should look at them as a synthesis of the whole, knowing that without their individual utter conviction, training, and skill, the piece would be lesser. This is a company of excellence, performing as a true ensemble. The epitome of an ensemble is when the sum is greater than its parts. That’s exactly what this company achieved. They were stunning.

It is my profound hope that B. Moore Dance receives a lot of attention and a wider audience beyond the DFW area. They deserve it. I do not doubt that B. Moore and her dancers will continue to create and innovate. Ms. Moore is a world-class choreographer and has shaped a world-class company of dancers. Look for them in their next season. You’ll surely be taken on a beautiful, moving, and inspired journey.

NOTE: Production concluded its run at the time of the publication of our review.

To find out more about B. Moore Dance: Email:
Phone: 469.223.8578 /