by Barrett White
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Shaping Sound Dance Company’s Houston premiere, compliments of Pennino and Partners and Brilliant.
Founded by Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson (all of whom are alumni of So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing with the Stars, or both), Shaping Sound Dance Company, who rightfully call themselves “visual musicians,” are taking their show on the road for their inaugural national tour. The company made a one-night only appearance at the Wortham Center on Sunday, October 19, for two performances in Space City.
The production was nothing short of a flawless visual theater production. Commanding the stage for roughly two hours (with an intermission), Shaping Sound tells an entire multi-dimensional story without one speaking line. The visual dialogue is visceral, the plot clear, and the movement is visually stunning. Please, if you have the opportunity to catch the production at a later date, do not blink.
The leading lady playing a character we will call “Girl” (as there is no dialogue and therefore no names) is Jaimie Goodwin, who takes us on an adventure through a dream-like state after her home life is turned upside down by a disinterested husband. In this dream state, the company of dancers leave you awestruck, flowing song to song immaculately. Some scenes are partnered, giving you a glimpse at the intimate relationships between only two performers taking the stage, others are massive, show-stopping, full-company blow-outs with aesthetics that touch on nearly every style of dance—from jazz to modern interpretive (and that’s just the first act!)—culminating in a rapturous performance of swing-style at the club.
The second act opens with “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a neat routine that includes choreographed lighting tricks. By the time you reach the end of the show, you’re hoping for an additional two hours, yearning to see these artists tell you more about Girl’s life and future. The storyline may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hope for an encore!
Shaping Sound Dance Company is currently on their first national tour. There are no additional Houston performances scheduled. The Shaping Sound tour will make a stop in Fort Worth on January 28, 2015, at Bass Hall. For more information about Shaping Sound Dance Company, visit their website at shapingsoundco.com.