Love Lives

Photo: Debra Klawetter/Epiphany DanceArts

Epiphany DanceArts shows the many sides of love in “Dawn” – A Love Story.

Classy, cohesive and cry-worthy all describe Epiphany DanceArts Valentine’s production “Dawn” – A Love Story at the Granville Arts Center in Garland.

On Friday, company members glided on stage with slicked-back up-dos and tasteful costumes, maintaining the elegance throughout the show with contemporary and liturgical dance stylings and soulful music (a selection of songs by Etta James, Mumford & Sons and Natalie Grant to name a few.)

Vocalists Stephanie Jenkins and Stephanie Kenney acted as the evening’s narrators and also added their own sophisticated sound to a couple of recorded songs including the late Etta James’ “Sunday Kind of Love” and “At Last.”

Since the company’s winter show in December, the dancers seem more in sync with one another. In this show, which repeats tonight, their arm gestures, turns, arabesques and even breath cues were together. Maybe it had something to do with the larger venue, but the dancers’ choreography and performance level have also been elevated.

Photo: Debra Klawetter/Epiphany DanceArts

For example, in the first number “Lighting the Way,” a dozen dancers wove freely in and out of each other attaching their jeté combinations with confidence. The company’s trademark heavenly musicality and moments of stillness shone through in rhythmically and visually appealing choreography and graceful partnering.

And there were plenty of tear-jerker moments in the show, including “Make A Way” and “Stormy Weather,” both trios, and both about overcoming heartache. The movement was often slow and deliberate but at times fast and aggressive. Yet it was the expression on the dancers’ faces—pain and desperation—that really hit home.

The end of the show, however, brought cause for happy tears when the company performed a joyful piece to “At Last,” a song that perfectly summed up the dancers’ journey toward finding unconditional love.

This review was originally posted on TheaterJones.com.

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