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Thunderous reception for 4 dance works

By Merilyn Jackson For The Inquirer

The Earth goddess of Philadelphia dance, Joan Myers Brown, hurled a thunderbolt of a program at the near-capacity audience in the Kimmel’s Perelman Theater Friday evening – but instead of running for cover, the crowd erupted in cheers as each of the four works ended.

It started with a vigorous sun shower, a reprise of Milton Myers’ Violin Concerto to the Philip Glass work of that name. Myers has been resident choreographer for Philadanco since 1986; this is one of my favorite pieces by him. Clad in variations of purple, 10 dancers race in diagonals across the stage to Glass’ pulse and, in a second section, stop the action with bodybuilding poses. It all ends with the lead female dancer held aloft in a fish dive by four men.

Also reprised was Cottonwool, by frequent contributor and former company member Christopher Huggins with music by the UK electronic music duo Lamb. It increased the volume and intensity of the evening to a downpour of movement. Tommie Waheed-Evans, Jeroboam Bozeman, and LaMar Baylor take turns teetering in spotlights as if to fall, while around them Chloé O. Davis, Roxanne Lyst and Rosita Davis and the other dancers skitter and speedball at high risk with never a misstep.

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