Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: ‘Peter and the Wolf & other ballets’ invigorating in Green Bay

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Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization offers works representing its past, present and future in its current production. Highly impressive is its future, a work well into progress by artistic director Timothy Josephs, set to “Carmina Burana.”

Fifteen of the 25 sections of that piece that has a tiger in its tank are performed in surges of flowing energy in the program that will be repeated at 1 p.m. today, Saturday, March 23, in University Theatre of Theatre Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Info: newdo.org.

The overall program is titled “Peter and the Wolf and other ballets.” Four works are performed – two reprised, one a premiere and the in-progress “Carmina Burana.”

Thus:

“Peter and the Wolf”

Music: Sergei Prokofiev

Lighting design: Jeffrey Paul Entwistle

Choreography: Timothy Josephs

Cast:

Peter – Kendall Lawonn

Bird – Kaia Rodeheaver

Duck – Helen Flanagan

Grandfather – Diane Danhieux

Wolf – Azure Hall

Hunters – Aniyah Donald, Fiona Josephs, Lin Lan Holzman-Crass, Lilly Meyer, Ella Mingori, Makena Murre, Gretchen Paulsen

Little Birds – Zoe Eckberg, Clare Fricke, Megan Szkodzinski, Annalyse Throne

Little Ducks – Scarlett Bell, Klaira Mahlik, Zoey Marcelle

Little Wolves – Ethan Mingori, Evan Throne, Gavin Throne

Little Cat – Adorlee Gustafson

The company also presented this in the 50th anniversary concert of the Green Bay Youth Symphony. Full scenic backdrops and set pieces and character costuming add visual pop.

As musical instruments represent characters, a story unfolds in a woodsy setting with a pond: Young rascal Peter calls on woodland friends to capture a wolf that has gulped down a duck.

Expressive character dancing buoys the tale that is pastoral and action-filled surrounding the wolf. Nice.

“The Morning of Her Passing” (Premiere)

Music: Composed and performed by Emily Paulsen (vocal) and Kent Paulsen (piano)

Original poem: Angie Flanagan

Choreography: Angie Flanagan

Dancers:

Aniyah Donald, Helen Flanagan, Dianna Getschow, Amelia Gorton, Emma Huntley, Fiona Josephs, Zola Kambandu-Schilz, Adison Karbon, Kendall Lawonn, Lilly Meyer, Ella Mingori, Gretchen Paulsen, Adriannah Popkey, Kaia Rodeheaver

Reflective and dramatic music shapes the thoughtful mood of this impressionistic work.

The aura of change is part of the flowing movement of dancers dressed in black tops and gray skirts.

A vision of a mood translated to word, translated to movement, graced by new music and offered to an audience’s imagination – this is a very artful offering inspired by Angie Flanagan.

“Feets”

Music: “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” Franz Liszt

Lighting Design: Jeffrey Paul Entwistle

Choreography: Diane Danhuieux

Dancers:

Ashley Burgess, Norah Gallagher, Katie Rider, Joshua Rider

Samantha Coppock, Zoe Eckberg, Adorlee Gustafson, Amara Lautenschlager, Katie Meyer, Ethan Mingori, Megan Szkodzinski, Annalyse Throne

Scarlett Bell, Klaira Mahlik, Zoey Marcelle, Evan Throne, Gavin Throne

Young members of the company create a circus atmosphere in this latest edition of the colorful work by Diane Danhuiex of the company.

First, a sequence displays footwear of many walks of life, with each set of feet having a personality. Then, costumed action turns to a circus, full of the music’s vivid circus-y flavor. Fun-plus.

“Carmina Burana”

Music: Carl Orff

Lighting: Jeffrey Entwistle

Choreography: Timothy Josephs

Dancers:

Samantha Coppock, Zoe Eckberg, Clare Fricke, Adorlee Gustafson, Amara Lautenschlager, Katie Meyer, Katie Rider, Megan Szkodzinski, Annalyse Throne

Ashley Burgess, Destiny Carranza, Aniyah Donald, Helen Flanagan, Norah Gallagher, Dianna Getschow, Amelia Gorton, Azure Hall, Emma Huntley, Lin Lan Holzman-Crass, Fiona Josephs, Zola Kambandu-Schilz, Kendall Lawonn, Lily Meyer, Ella Mingori, Makena Murre, Gretchen Paulsen, Adriannah Popkey, Kaia Rodeheaver

Angie Flanagan, Natasha Posey, Kristen Throne

When Timothy Josephs listens to this music, he must see movement of dancers. A passage becomes a pattern of movement. In this case, the music is particularly invigorating, and Josephs responds with large numbers of dancers (sometimes 19) in rushes of action.

The pace of the music demands a high degree of discipline, and the dancers rise to the occasion in this piece of super-energy and spirit.

In a newsletter, Josephs says he is looking to present the whole piece in 2021.

His present “Carmina Burana” is already a rush. It’s a “wow” experience.

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays. My latest book, “I Fell Out of a Tree in Fresno (and other writing adventures),” is available in Green Bay at Neville Public Museum and Bosse’s.

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