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To James Sofranko, dance is a language within itself. “You can express ideas through dance that you can’t through other forms. It’s a beautiful thing,” he said.

Leotard Laboratory: RAD Fest brings the most experimental dances to West Michigan

Written by Kayla Tucker | Tuesday, 27 February 2018 14:44 |

More than 1,000 attendees are expected to show up at this year’s Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival at The Epic Center in Kalamazoo.

It’s no accident that HIS Dance Ensemble’s production of The Toymaker: An Easter Story bears little resemblance to the traditional Easter fables.

The personal stories of trauma, illness and loss behind the seven portraits that Donna F. St. John painted for Moving Through the Unimaginable encompass a more painful past than the seemingly jovial faces let on.

Review: New Vic brings new, impassioned life to ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Written by Marin Heinritz | Monday, 26 February 2018 12:08 |

Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly the world’s most famous love story and has been performed and adapted countless times for more than 400 years. However, the current production is a first for Kalamazoo’s New Vic Theatre, and it’s been 34 years since the company has staged any Shakespeare play.

Review: ‘Ships, Shells & Chains’ is a magnificent fusion of local talent

Written by Marin Heinritz | Friday, 23 February 2018 14:59 |

It’s a wonderful and rare thing in the theater when the exact right script, director, company, and moment come together. That wonderful, rare thing is even more remarkable when all of the aforementioned entities emerge from local talent.

Review: ‘Almost, Maine’ is wonderfully weird and laugh-out-loud funny

Written by Marin Heinritz | Saturday, 17 February 2018 16:34 |

Maine and its people are often the butt of New England jokes, much as the U.P. and Yoopers are often viewed in a stereotypical light by those of us downstate. And yet for outsiders, there’s something terribly appealing about places far north and the requisite ways of being amid interminable winter set apart from the rest of civilization — at least to peer in at from afar.

Review: ‘On Your Feet!’ is full of fun, talent and inspiration

Written by Dana Casadei | Thursday, 15 February 2018 11:30 |

During Act I of “On Your Feet!” there's a moment where Gloria (Christie Prades) and Emilio (Mauricio Martínez) are talking with Phil (Devon Goffman), a record label executive who won’t back their new hit because it isn’t in Spanish. An argument ensues — for a variety of reasons — but leads to the audience finding out more about Emilio’s background and how he came to America, how he’s been there for 15 years, and how he’s worked his butt off to get where he is. Suddenly he shouts, “Look at my face. Whether you know it or not, this is what an American looks like.” Cue one of the audience’s many thunderous applauses.

Review: MOVEMEDIA Diversity is a beautiful, innovative journey beyond gender

Written by Marin Heinritz | Sunday, 11 February 2018 12:56 |

There is no art form more embodied by or tethered to the human form than dance, and classical ballet historically capitalizes on romantic ideals of gender binaries. George Balanchine, arguably the most influential 20th Century choreographer of ballet, famously declared, “Ballet is woman.” Woman as femme, woman on the excruciating yet ethereal pedestal of the pointe shoe, and woman as lifted and held by man. As dance critic Alistair Macaulay points out, Balanchine’s “kind of ballet was always a man’s view of woman, and a solely heterosexual one.”

Review: ‘If/Then’ takes risks and executes well

Written by Marin Heinritz | Tuesday, 06 February 2018 10:46 |

Sometimes the most compelling thing about a performance is the connection the performers build with the audience. On Friday night, this is exactly what happened at the end of Actors’ Theatre’s fine production (and Michigan premiere) of Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt’s mediocre “If/Then,” the 2015 musical remembered largely as a vehicle for “Wicked” and “Frozen” star Idina Menzel about a newly divorced 30-something urban planner who returns to New York City to start again only to question and double back on all the possible directions she might turn in terms of love and/or career.

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