The winter doldrums have a grip on all of us this time of year - including the artists at Idaho Dance Theatre. The company's Winter Performance opened Friday at Boise State's Special Events Center with a seasonal feel to many of the pieces.
Alfred Hansen's lighting, while beautiful as always, added a moodiness to the evening's visual tone.
Several guest artists nicely filled out the small, strong base IDT company: Chris Mackenthun, Evan Stevens, and Nell Rollins - a lovely and powerful young artist who is one to watch. Yurek Hansen, who left the company two seasons ago, returned for the performance and showed he is always a dancer to reckon with.
The brightest spot of the night was the debut of company dancer Sayoko Knode as a choreographer. Though she works as a choreographer in Salt Lake and other places, this was her first time working with IDT.
Knode's "If I Was Young ..." closed the show. The piece brimmed with playful and energetic moves, which sent the dancers literally flying through the air. The central character Leah Loper was a joy to watch, especially in an intriguing duet with Gonzalo Valdez in which he kept trying to confine her and she would squirm away.
Hopefully, IDT audiences will see more of Knode's work in the future.
Marla Hansen's "Catch" opened the program with bright colorful costumes and playful partnering - which Hansen always does well. It offered a chance to catch Yurek Hansen and Casee Hogg in a short duet. The two always make a powerful couple.
Trey McIntyre Project dancer Chanel DaSilva's "To Live in the Truth," to music by The National and Mumford & Sons, offered some wonderful moments for the dancers, too, principally the opening solo for Hogg, a dancer of fleet breathiness and dynamic agility, and a lovely duet for Knode and Mackenthun.
DaSilva's choreography plays with intriguing contrasts in direction and intension. It will be fun to watch her develop as an artist.
This year's New Visions Choreography Competition winner Eric Handman made his IDT debut with "Good Morning, Midnight." The University of Utah choreographer's powerful piece felt a bit too weighty for a few of the dancers who skimmed the floor when they should have punched through.
Carl Rowe's "Passion/Play" rounded out the program, a piece from Rowe's past repertoire that he reworked. Rowe's signature rich choreography and ideas meshed well and worked beautifully with Hansen's strips and pools of light. Though the work was a mix of old and new, the piece overall was seamless.
Dana Oland: 377-6442, Twitter: @IDS_DanaOland