Last year Stephen Koester contributed to the dance season with Demolition Derby, an evening length work that was mostly a wreck. Mr. Koester was back for this year’s Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT) Link Series with a presentation titled Who We Are? I can answer that question. We are a lot happier with this year’s program.
Who We Are? featured four works choreographed from 1999 to 2008, several were premieres. Koester’s choreography is frequently predictable with movement that could come from dozens of choreographers. Sometimes it feels like the dancers are just making it up. But in this performance there were several bright spots.
Men’s Suite featured two such moments. The first came in a movement called #1 Posers—Veloci-Italians. Performed by Juan Aldape and Jersey Reo Riemo, this work made you realize how gay machismo can be. The results were entertaining and amusing even if the dancing wasn’t perfect. For better dancing, see another movement from the same work, #3 The Ascetic. Graham Brown delivered a powerful performance with Agnus Dei, a track by Rufus Wainwright, as music. You can’t go wrong with moving music and a strong dance performance.
Even with some less-than-enjoyable works, Who We Are? was one of the better performances I’ve seen in the Link Series. And I’ll bet we’ll see more from Stephen Koester in future series.