Ballet of the Dolls: Venus and Adonis

While Myron Johnson's dance/theater works skew everything from gender roles to family dynamics to famous classical ballets, they also demonstrate over and over the transformative power of moving to music. His latest work, "Venus and Adonis," is a departure from vintage Ballet of the Dolls fare on several fronts. First, Johnson has (briefly) vacated the funky precincts of his beloved home, the Ritz Theater, to tread the boards of the hallowed "flagship-for-dance" halls of the Cowles Center for the Performing Arts. While Ballet of the Dolls primarily works with storytelling through dance, mime, and theater, "V&A" is strictly dance. Johnson's paean to the love songs of Joni Mitchell, Laura Nero, Phoebe Snow, and many others began in the 1980s, when their music became a barometer of his moods, from heartbroken to lusty. The music taught Johnson that struggle could be beautiful, and beauty could be ugly. So what better vessel for Johnson's story than the tale of the goddess of love and her gorgeous, ill-fated consort? But rather than follow the myth, Johnson has followed the music. He visualizes the dance as not about concepts, but about the energy and mood of those songs. No one does energy and mood like Johnson, especially when he has embarked on what he terms an experimental, multimedia stage production with "video and ethereal imaging." It's great to see this Northeast-based artist come on down to downtown. (Photo by Jim Smith)
Sept. 27-28, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 29, 2 p.m., 2013

 
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