In a pas de deux (danced soulfully by Wolf and the diminutive but powerful Karen), she drew attention to the contrast between modern dance’s and jazz’s respective rebellion and adherence to a set vocabulary. Meanwhile, in an improvisational section, Brockus and then audience members clapped a rhythm in exchange for an interpretation from each dancer, the focus on how jazz plays on the straight rhythms of a traditional Western lexicon.
And what is jazz without Bob Fosse? Brockus took the polyrhythmic point a step further and joined in a playful Fosse number, executed with a good measure of humor. Social dances like fox trot and tango also took us through the mid-20th century, after which the company performed a “Motown Suite” that instantly shifted the unspoken rhythms of the room and ignited a shared joy between performer and audience.
About the writer BEIGE LUCIANO-ADAMS is a professional dancer and journalist based in Los Angeles, where she covers business, politics, arts and culture.