REVIEW: Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz at the Kennedy Center

DC metro

“Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz is a graceful etude in human flow. The piece moves you through the full range of human emotions and what they look like when they express in passionate extremes. Dancers glide like milk and honey streaming between bodies in seamless connection. There are no separations as the parts become the whole.

The easy fluidity and beautifully smoothe changes in positions deeply imprint the subconscious narrative of this elegant work. Dancers move to new highs or emotional lows with vertebra-by-vertebra flexing spines, swiveling hips, whole-body roll-ups, shivering shoulders or exuberant somersaults, jumping like Maasais in joy or sadness and every human emotion in between.

Distant strains in minor keys by the Balanescu Quartet and Nils Frahm add a melancholy element while Nicole Pearce’s dark mood lighting frames the dancers in moments of intentional connection or asymmetrical knees and arms in seemingly awkward agitation. As if needing to give or receive support from the buffeting winds of change, the final tableau depicts two dancers simply walking away from it all holding hands–in resolved acceptance–as the lights go down.

Malpaso is a company of technically strong, athletic dancers – the males and the females. Their muscular, toned bodies were unadorned in simple black leotards or bras with tight tank tops in Indomitable Waltz. Fritz Masten’s unflashy costuming adds a dramatically simple statement to the complexity of the human experience as danced by all ten dancers of the company in this lushly appealing work.”