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 The Judgment of Company XIV

   
 

Greeks bearing Gifts! 

   

 

  

 

Noblesse oblige, Louis XIV decreed that France should revolve around its king like the planets around the sun.  Austin McCormick's four year-old dance theater troupe Company XIV has ambitions of a more cultural nature, and here it is the audience that sits still while the performers are the ones who are in a constant whirl!  The company's version of The Judgment of Paris draws from Congreve's opera of the same name, and is an extravaganza, a 'dance entertainment' set to text by Austin McCormick and Toby Burns.

The Judgment of Paris tells the story of Paris, the young Trojan prince who was asked to arbitrate the primordial beauty contest between Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena.  Paris chooses Aphrodite (and the love of the beautiful Helen that she offered).  Helen leaves with Paris to Troy… leading to the outbreak of the Trojan War.  The show examines the myth from a contemporary perspective and melds can-can with Baroque and neo-classical dance to startling effect, while exploring the themes of attraction, betrayal, and loss.  McCormick's talent lies not only in his ability to delve into a wide reservoir of dance knowledge, but in the layering of different dance techniques to best effect.  One minute the dancers joyfully prance about doing the can-can; the next they plunge into high Baroque drama set to deftly-executed balletic choreography.

Gioia Marchese is exquisitely bawdy as Aphrodite.  As Helen, the woman whose face launched a thousand ships, Elyssa Dole displays a devastating combination of innocence and willfulness.  Laura Careless and Yeva Glover round out the stellar cast.  The music for this ninety-minute piece is an eclectic mix which includes excerpts from Congreve's opera, as well as Offenbach's La Belle Helene and Marlene Dietrich songs. 

First presented in May 2008 at the company's Carroll Gardens studios, the show won Pick of the Fringe at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Company XIV reprises The Judgment of Paris, January 8th to February 1st at The Duo Theatre; 62 East 4th Street, Thursdays-Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 2PM.  www.smarttix.com 

 

See: Company XIV 

 

 

 

 

 

       
 

 
       
     

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