reviewed by Ken Klingenmeier

Last night Mrs. K and I had the privilege of attending the current offering from Dance Kaleidoscope which is being performed on IRT’s OneAmerica stage. Entitled DK and Friends, the evening was dedicated to coordinated efforts by the creative forces of DK, guest artists from Todd Rosenlieb Dance – which is based in Norfolk VA, and live performances by singer Doug Dilling and electric violinist Cathy Morris.

Heavy Like Waits

The Todd Rosenlieb Dance troupe performs “Heavy Like Waits” – choreographed by Todd Rosenlieb – Photo by Freddie Kelvin

The Rosenlieb group took the stage first, sharing three of their company’s creations. Todd Rosenlieb’s “Heavy Like Waits” is an innovatively costumed set of dances done to the trademark growl of an assortment of Tom Waits songs. “Voiced” which features choreography by former DK performer Ricardo Melendez (now a Rosenlieb associate), has an experimental feel to it – the Rosenlieb dancers have only human voice sounds to set their movements to. Finally, another Todd Rosenlieb conception called “Suite Sammy” honors the great Sammy Davis Jr. with an energetic piece choreographed for several of Davis’ standard hits. Of the three, the Sammy number is my favorite – hitting home with nostalgic feelings. However all the pieces were well performed – the Rosenlieb dancers being exceptionally skillful with their group’s choreographic stylings.


Megan Butler, Caitlin Cooley, and Janelle Spruill perform “Voiced” – choreographed by Ricardo Melendez – Photo by Freddie Kelvin

Act Two featured the world premiere of a short-form work by DK artistic director David Hocchoy entitled “End of the World”, featuring dancers Stuart Coleman and Timothy June with musical support by singer Doug Dilling. The eponymous song is by composer/singer Matt Alber from his “Hide Nothing” album. Portrayed as a lament by a gay man to his lover, the work was emotive and tender.

End of the World

Singer Doug Dilling, with dancers Stuart Coleman and Timothy June performing David Hochoy’s “End of the World”- Photo by Freddie Kelvin

Following, there comes “Skin Walkers”, a 1999 Hochoy piece. The Celtic (or Scotch) music base is wonderfully augmented by Cathy Morris performing fantastic improv licks on her electric violin. The dance itself is an uber-high-energy program full of struts and leaps which brought the crowd to its feet at the finish. This piece definitively shows off the high skills of the DK troupe, with each of the 11 dancers having a turn to be center. It is an explosive ending to a very entertaining evening.

SKin Walkers 2

The DK dancers perform David Hochoy’s “Skin Walkers” (1999) – Photo by Crowe’s Eye Photography

This DK concert only runs thru Sunday April 9th, so you will need to get your tickets rather quickly. You can get performance and ticket information by going to or by calling the IRT Ticket Office at 317.635.5252.