Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review: Dirtfoot & Escaped Images pleasure a packed audience at Centenary College

Dirtfoot & Escaped Images packed the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse Fri night at 8 pm and won standing ovations with their earthy, transpirational performances.

Dirtfoot looked comfortable in the tv studio-like set, far from the spitty saloons and jiggly festivals where they ordinarily perform. The sound, by Barry C Butler, was highly detailed.

The resined bow scraping against the thick strings of Eric Gardner's double bass has never been presented more sensuously.

Singer-guitarist Matt Hazelton was a growly Tom Wait figure, except that his voice was also Jim Morrison-like.

Dirtfoot's sound was evocative of klezmer, of Parisian jazz, of Texas swing, of a furniture-moving glee club, of a soundtrack for an indie movie about love, death and a tongue well-inserted in the external auditory meatus.

Angela Rice put it well for this fan: "I fell in love with Dirtfoot all over again."

Escaped Images' choreography, by Centenary faculty as well as students, was imaginative - envision twirling dancers on point alongside undulating belly dancers. And the ensemble work was performed with admirable precision. A tap dance sequence was amusing and fulfilling. In another dance the horizontal movement of a lithe dancer suspended from a cross-stage rope was paralleled by a dancer walking the opposite direction on a balance beam. Detail of the dancers was projected above the stage in a surprising addition of artful video.

The tall set by Alan Berry kept the eyes busy. Movement of the multitude of dancers was enhanced by the multi-source lighting designed by Don Hooper.

Conceived and directed by Renee Cheveallier, the show was Shreveport art at its best.

5 comments:

Kay Kennedy said...

agreed! i was in awe and entertained each and every moment. the show exceeded my expectations which is always an uplifting experience those rare times when it occurs.

C. Woods said...

That would be Tom Waits, not 'Tom Wait', actually. (I'm a huge fan.)

Emilia said...

It was one of my favorite shows hands down!

All of the dancers and crew worked tirelessly and showed amazing talent.

I, as well as the rest of Dirtfoot, felt honored to be a part of such a production!

-Matt Hazelton/Dirtfoot!

Melody said...

It was truly one of the best shows I have ever seen in Shreveport. I haven't seen Marjorie Lyons Playhouse that packed in years. I haven't seen an audience react like that in even longer.

I wish they would do this again and again! Gotta hand it to Renee for thinking this up. What a show.

stan said...

Renee has been a cultural cornerstone in Shreveport for quiet a few years and her inspired choice to use Dirtfoot is certainly a highlight of her performance/art bag of tricks. It's a damn shame the powers that be at Centenary can't see the value of what they have and will probably cancel the dance program. Renee, you are a beautiful talent and a beautiful soul.