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Monday, Sept. 30, 2013

Dance Revolution’s MKE Follies @ Theatre Unchained

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Nigel Wade’s impudent spoken word piece in MKE Follies bragged, “I told them I know a place where I can get a Tall Boy of Pabst for two-fifty, and that’s including the tip.” The poet recalled being homesick while living in New York and compared the standard of living between Milwaukee and the Big Apple. Dance Revolution’s platform, MKE Follies, resonates with a similar pride by showcasing distinguished talent from Milwaukee’s own backyard.

 

Theatre Unchained courteously hosts the dance company’s bi-monthly episodes in Walker’s Point, providing a comfortable atmosphere for young artists and patrons. After a brief social in the bar area, Tara Wrobel opened last Friday’s variety show with her grunge-themed dance piece. Along with her accompanying guitarist, the two resurrected the ‘90s’ somberness with bleak riffs and melodramatic movements. Overturning their mood in the next 10-minute feature, dancers Jason Waszak and Jessie Mae Scibek humored the audience as an ice-fishing duo in their piece “Ice Lake.” The pairs’ frigid frustrations were hilarious as Waszak tried desperately to rescue his partner after her feet became frozen to a bucket. Nastassja Bates followed with a sensual yet profound performance. Her jazzy hip-hop track included spoken poetry to parallel her dancing with phrases like “The world owes us nothing” and other words of empowerment.

 

“Eve” tempted this sense of empowerment as a trio of ladies flaunted their sassy swagger in reference to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. Katie Carpenter doubled as choreographer and performer, dancing alongside Kayla Schroepfer and Megan Burki amongst the forbidden fruit props on stage. Next, Kimberly Rhyme’s piece explored anxieties about the future. She spoke and danced with nervous tics and self-encouraging dialogues, urging herself to “keep walking.” Her movements pacified from jagged episodes as she guided herself away from an imminent panic attack.

 

Nigel Wade and Sarah Sparkles added variety to this month’s show. Wade’s powerful, preaching voice captivated the audience with poetic stories and streams of consciousness, while Sparkles brought a carnival-like quality. She impressed the audience with her hooping talent, starting with one hula-hoop and continually upping the ante, eventually coordinating four hoops by the finale.

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