The Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company; "Rubato" by Winston Derden
Not that I'm a complete sycophant. I will and have told Kathy when something wasn't up to her usual standards. I'll be e-mailing her my personal critique of this show in the next day or two.
But for the purposes of this blog, I just want to say I had a great time. There were three live dances and a short dance film presented. The dances were all quite different, but all showcased the KDHDC trademark athleticism and attention to detail. This company works hard and it shows. I covet their energy and work ethic.
They're coming to Houston September 22-23 for the Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance at Miller Outdoor Theater. You can bet I'll arranage my life around it.
And when they present at College Station on November 4 . . . well, I won't make any immediate promises, but I've noted it on my calendar . . .
Anyone who likes modern dance even a little bit and lives in driving distance of these places should mark their their calendars as well.
No pressure, I'm just saying.
Visit her website: http://kdhdance.com/
Winston Derden is the only author I knew before I started this little Able to... project. We met when we both sort of haphazardly attended a local comics creators event at Borders and we exchanged e-mails and then exchanged some stories for critique. I asked several of my writer friends and acquaintances to submit to this project and Winston was the only to come through.
"Rubato" takes place in the courtyard of a restaurant. The narrator is a bit smitten with Chantal, an enigmatic woman with a sly smile and an unusual ability. She senses and catches ripples (her word--she admits she doesn't really have a better word for it) in time and then replays a moment time so it comes out differently. And that's all I should say about the plot. It's a short piece, really, and to say more is to give too much away.
But I can say this. Despite having seen a few stories from Winston, this one surprised me. It's a romance and it's some of his most lyrical writing. I suppose that makes sense, the title being a musical term. Still, while much of what I've read from Winston is either about a rougher element in our culture or else has a bit of a satirical bite, this story is, well, sexy, but not in any obvious or cliched way. Although Chantal is a bit of a cool character, she also has a quiet sensuality about her, as described by the narrator, and its difficult not to develop a crush on her along with him.
For Houstonians, the restaurant is recognizable, if not named. I won't name it here, as I think not knowing lends something to the mystery of the piece. What's funny is that it was so clearly described that I had pictured the setting in pretty good detail before I realized it was set in a real place. Then one day, I was walking past this restaurant and I thought, "this is familiar, where have I seen it before?" It took me a moment to realize that I hadn't seen it, just read its description. Maybe I should have a contest of some sort for Houstonians, to see who recognizes it . . .