Take Five

Elements Contemporary Ballet dancers Yu Suzuki & Joseph Caruana. Photo by John Sisson.

Tomorrow night (Saturday, May 12) in a one-night-only performance, Elements Contemporary Ballet (ECB) celebrates turning five.  There was some confusion in the anniversary, since founder/artistic director Mike Gosney actually started the company in 2005, but he explains that the first two pivotal years which produced experimental material were not incorporated.  Once incorporated, the clock really started ticking and now ECB is hitting the five year anniversary.  Congrats!  Gosney and his company are known for solid technique and stylized movement with an unique approach to teaching and choreographing.  By incorporating the natural elements (fire, earth, air, water) to represent major points of dance (expression, physicality, focus, freedom) his  work takes on an organic quality that allows the dancers to take risks and really shine.

For the Five Year Anniversary Spring Engagement at the Atheneum Theatre this weekend, ECB presents five works – three world premieres, a company premiere and an audience favorite.  Gosney revamps a previous work-in-progress set to Mendelssohn titles Songs without words.  “I’ve asked the cast to sing as if they were standing in line or waiting for the bus on a summer’s day,” he said.  His newer work, Pathos, to Mozart’s Requiem follows a journey through purgatory where a man is guided by the characters “Love”, “Hope” and “Mercy”.  ECB dancer Joseph Caruana also has two pieces on the program.  His premiere The River deals with two women who are battling cancer and his older work Angel was pickes to compete in 2011’s Dancing Under the Stars festival.  Rounding out the show is choreographer and former Hubbard Street dancer Brian Enos’ Dark and Lovely, Mmm, originally set on Houston Ballet.  ECB’s core group of eight dancers will be joined with guest artists, which Facebook suggests will include some local favorites including Lizzie MacKenzie and Ricky Ruiz.

Elements Contemporary Ballet at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $25-$30.  Call 773.935.6860 or visit web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9584725