I reviewed Company C’s latest in Tuesday’s paper:

“Many a burgeoning ballet troupe could benefit from having a ballet by Alonzo King in its repertoire. On Friday at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, the East Bay’s Company C Contemporary Ballet gained an ersatz substitute: “Which Light in the Sky Is Us,” a world premiere by Gregory Dawson.

That’s not to disparage Dawson’s obvious talent. Every emerging choreographer begins by imitation, and with more than a decade spent dancing for King’s Lines Ballet, it’s only natural that Dawson would be highly influenced by the work of his former boss.

The fine commissioned score, by Ben Juodvalkis and Moses Sedler, sounds like a reduction of Lines Ballet’s greatest hits: bold industrial sounds mingling with Tibetan prayer gongs, African percussion and elegiac strings. Yet Dawson’s personal choreographic gifts glimmer within the ballet. His movement leans toward more obviously classical vocabulary than King’s, which makes for clearer unison sections. And his stagecraft with tension-building transitions is tremendous. Just when you think you know where the structure of a section is going – four women lined up along one wing, say, with a soloist center stage – in pops a visitor whose arrival seems both surprising and inevitable.

Most important, though, is how focused and emotionally immersed Company C’s members look in “Which Light.” The young dancers – being steadily groomed by Artistic Director Charles Anderson – have grown tremendously in recent seasons in ballets by luminaries like Twyla Tharp and Antony Tudor. But in “Which Light” they look grown up – not mere performers, but artists. ”

Click here for the full review.

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