La Danse’ from Kore­sh Dance Co. hits the floor with inti­mate performance

2 minute read
The Koresh Dance Co. ensemble steps to impress. (Photo by Pete Checchia.)
The Koresh Dance Co. ensemble steps to impress. (Photo by Pete Checchia.)

Every spring, Philadelphia dance audiences can look forward to the Koresh Dance Co. presenting the world premiere of a major new work by resident choreographer Roni Koresh. And every spring, Roni Koresh delivers a thrilling piece of choreographic brilliance. On April 25, Koresh will be unveiling his latest creation, entitled “La Danse.”

Inspiration through illustration

Koresh is known for his dynamic choreography, suffused with muscular athleticism and theatrical drama, often tinged with a Middle Eastern sensibility. However, like all true artists, Koresh is constantly experimenting and evolving. The new work takes a more tender approach in spots, with more elements of humor. Koresh’s latest inspiration is a joyful, passionate, and, yes, tender and humorous interpretation of a series of paintings by Henri Matisse, starting with “Le Bonheur de Vivre” and counting with the two versions of “La Danse.”

Experimenting through intimate focus

I was given the privilege of seeing some of “La Danse” in rehearsal, and the differences in this new piece were immediately evident. In past work, the choreographer has favored larger pieces featuring most, if not all, of the Koresh Dance ensemble. With “La Danse,” Koresh puts a greater focus on intimate moments, featuring various duos and trios. Koresh is also continuing his experimentation with the spoken word as a soundtrack to explore the emotional nuances of Matisse’s paintings.

But let it not be said that Koresh is completely abandoning the large ensemble pieces or choreographic dramatics that mark his signature style: Matisse also shows the joy a large group can feel in dance, and Koresh takes that inspiration in full measure. Koresh assures me that fans of typical his dance drama will not be disappointed. “Don’t worry,” he says. “The piece as a whole will be explosive.”

Koresh Dance Company’s presentation of “La Danse,” choreographed by Roni Koresh, runs April 25-28, 2019, at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 South Broad Street, Philadelphia. For more information, call (215) 751-0959 or visit koreshdance.org.

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