Scenes From The Return of the Dallas DanceFest.
The curtains open, lights slowly dim and the moment had finally arrived. All that practice time was about to pay off — and in front of an eager crowd no less.
Backstage at the Dallas City Performance Hall on Friday night, as the Dallas DanceFest made its triumphant return after a 10-year hiatus, this as each dancers' reality.
The first performances of many that would be shown throughout the weekend, Friday night's opening offerings mixed nerves and excitement into a remarkable display. Organized by the Dance Council of North Texas, the event was meant to showcase the exhilarating talent of distinguished local leaders in the field of dance — including the late choreographer Bruce Wood, who passed away this year — and boy did it.
Each of night one's performances included a sense of story. The Dallas Ballet Company's opened the evening with elegant poise. The SMU Meadows Dance Ensemble followed with a moody and emotional display of its own. In the third performance of the night, the Indique Dance Company started its set with a contemporary rock band-accompanied offering that soon blended into an all-out showcase of movement, colors and culture that fed the excitement of the music.
Backstage and before that third showing, Indique Dance Company's dancers practiced constantly, perfecting their movements — last-minute preparations that resulted in added confidence when it was their turn to dance. Theirs was an extremely moving, downright hair-raising performance.
The Dallas Black Dance Theatre II followed Indique Dance Company with a performance called “Tears of War” that amazed in both its dancers' sheer strength and in its portrayal of a sense of loss. Following this performance was something a little happier — an uplifting tap-dance number from Rhythmic Souls. Dark Circles Contemporary Dance then delighted with sweet “Marshmallow” showcase, before giving way to The Ewert & Company, the Texas Ballet Theater and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, whose offerings closed the night.
In all, it was a splendid night filled with performances that accomplished their goal of showing just how beautiful of an art form dance truly is. Lest the audience's reactions didn't make the night's success clear, the smiles, the grace and the elegance exuded by each of the night's dancers did.