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Esther Sarah Bower

Modern Live Viewing iconoGlass


For my modern live viewing, I had the opportunity to go watch Dance Kaleidoscope,
Indianas longest lasting contemporary dance company, at Clowes Hall (Dance). The company
performed two pieces, iconoGlass and Remembrances, during the show. IconoGlass is a part of
Dance Kaleidescopes repertoire and was choreographed by David Hochoy (Dance). The piece
was very strong and athletic all throughout. The dancers utilized their whole bodies performing
jumps, leaps, kicks, quick movements, and partnering. The ensemble was made up of both men
and women, and the dancers started all together, followed by a few solos, duets, and small
groups, and they finished all together. The dancers utilized their space to the fullest. They
performed on a very large stage, but it never overpowered them. Their movement, intension, and
overall power filled the performance hall with an exorbitant amount of energy. Time was also
used to the best of their ability. David choreographed many syncopated counts while also
allowing for release. As an audience member, I was constantly intrigued by how their timing
varied.
The music was very captivating and reminded me of a powerful church choir. Most of the
music was without vocals except one excerpt featured lyrics. The music went very well with the
choreography because both were so strong. Something that really caught my eye, that David
choreographed, was the use of cupped hands. In my dance training, I had never seen hands
shaped like that, but I remembered taking Melanies class this semester and realized she also
used cupped hands. I decided to research what cupped hands meant and learned that the use of
cupped hands is a technique used in Graham training called The Graham Cup. It is not simply

a position. It is performed in accordance with the rest of the body and is the hands way of
performing its own contraction (Martha).
The costuming was very simple. The ladies wore white unitards with a sheer skirt over
top, and the men wore white bike shorts with no shirt. As the dance progressed, the unitards and
shorts obtained splashes of color. This costuming choice was very appropriate because, by the
end of the piece, the music had transitioned to a more cheery sound, and the dancers had smiles
on their faces. The set was beautiful and added a lot of intensity to the piece. For example, there
was fog all over the stage which deepened the rich music. Also, there were spotlights on the
dancers when the piece started, and the piece ended with the lights flickering which was a
dynamic visual close.
I was privileged enough to watch this piece in the third row from the stage, and what I
was able to see and hear from such an intimate setting was amazing. Just this semester, I have
sincerely thought about my breath in connection to my dancing. I always knew breathing was
important but would push it to the back burner when concentrating on mastering steps and
choreography. Being at Ball State has opened my eyes up to the importance of breath, and
watching Dance Kaleidescope simply reiterated the importance. I was so amazed to actually
hear these dancers breathing during their performance. They were so purposeful with their
breath; it was as if David Hochoy actually choreographed when they should breathe. Seeming
that this piece was so physical, it was apparent their breath was what allowed them to be
successful. Without it, they would not have been able to keep up with the choreography and
make everything look so effortless.
Another aspect, we have worked on, that was demonstrated was body alignment. In order
to introduce the style of modern, we have worked on body alignment in very basic ways. For

example, we have worked on keeping our hips in place when we transition from flat back to
standing. Also, we have worked on our hips staying forward during upper back curves to the
side. After watching this piece, I believe all of the alignment exercises we have worked on are a
great start to preparing us for a performance like iconoGlass. While these dancers did not do flat
back and curve exercises on stage, the correct technique and alignment was apparent in
everything they did. Their hips were never loose and out of place, and their bodies stayed
connected as one. To be able to be successful in such a rigorous piece, as was performed, their
alignment had to be definite.
I absolutely loved watching Dance Kaleidescope perform. I feel one of my strengths is
powerful movement, and I loved seeing that strength applied to modern dance. Before viewing
this piece, my perception of modern had been more of a free flowing and graceful style. Now, I
know there are many aspects to the art of modern.
Julian Goodwin, a dancer in the piece, especially caught my eye. She was about my
height and physique but moved as if she were six feet tall. She was able to elongate her
extremities to cover vast amounts of distance quickly. This really caught my eye because it
signified to me that I cant use my lack of height as an excuse to not travel as far as a tall dancer.
Julian made it a priority to keep up with the tall dancers, and it really made her stand out. Seeing
her dance has inspired me to stand by dancers, such as Tyler, and keep striving to travel as much
as he does during movement.
Indiana is very fortunate to be home to a company like Dance Kaleidescope. They are a
group of such beautiful artists, and I was honored to watch them perform. They have encouraged
me to continue striving to develop as a modern dancer and showed me a new style of modern
that has left me completely intrigued and awestruck.

Works Cited
Dance Kaleidescope. Indianapolis: n.p., 2015. Print.
"Martha Graham How-To." Dance Spirit. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2015.