Touhill Performing Arts Center - Saint Louis, MO

Spring to Dance XI (2018)

Presented by DanceSTL
Seen on Fri May 25 and Sat May 26, 2018

Reviewed by Isabelle Heidbreder

Year after year, and this is our 10th experience, Spring to Dance surprises, delights, and awes me.

As a new convert to the Art of Dance, I do not carry the prejudices that might be ingrained in many. To me, ballet is not a superior form of dance, it is simply a more traditionally accepted one.

I was aware of myself many a time during the two days’ celebration of dance catching my breath and experiencing a burst of sheer joy in my heart thinking “This is beauty!” Not “beautiful”… “beauty”.

Dance in all its forms transcends the limits of the human body: what sheer strength, will, exactitude, pain, and endless hours of rehearsal creates is Magic. It transcends the limits of the human body and leads us to believe, for two (or three) nights at the annual Spring to Dance festival, that all is possible. United in the sheer joy of dance, physical, race, and age barriers disappear.

Momenta’s Full Moon pas de deux made me forget that a wheelchair was involved: Kris Lenzo was flying! Chicago Dance Crash’s Sisters bridged the generation gap making a dusty movie classic ever-so-fresh! Wewolf’s Inverse proved that nothing is impossible. The Joffrey Ballet, Chae Eun Yang (National Ballet of Canada) and Houston Ballet's Connor Walsh's pas de deux, as well as that of Adiarys Almeida and Taras Domitro grounded us in the tradition of flawless ballet while Hubbard Street Dance Chicago made us smile and reflect on the beauty of the human body… all of it.

I could darken another page mentioning all the unbelievably talented groups showcased during Spring to Dance 2018’s two days of celebration of dance. You just had to be there! You should have been there!

(Webmaster's note: Originally three nights over the Memorial Day weekend but contracted to two for a "couple" of years, Spring to Dance XII (2019) will return to a 3-day format. It is also important that, if you want to see ALL the performances, the Desmond Lee Theater is much smaller (360 seats) than the Anheuser-Busch main auditorium's 1600-plus seats so it almost always sells out. The Lee Theater presentations are really on the same level as those in the A-B auditorium, so for the full experience, you must reserve your tickets early!)

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