Director Randall Flinn thought he was reaching out to a stranger when he sent a note to José Limón dancer/choreographer Durell Ron Comedy asking if he was interested in choreographing a new work for the Ad Deum Dance Company. “When we finally got on the phone together, I started, ‘Hi, I’m Randall Flinn and…’” Flinn says. “He jumped in, saying, ‘Don’t pretend you don’t know me! I’ve been coming to your [intensive workshops] ever since I was a little boy!’” Ice officially broken.
The work Comedy created is Joyful Noise, one of several pieces being presented during Moving Violations Pardoned. “He uses a lot of what I would call technical stylization from Limón vocabulary, but he really has a beautiful language all of his own,” Flinn says. “The piece is quite intricate. It’s a breathtaking, picturesque work. The architecture of the work shows how really brilliant he is as a choreographer.”
The program’s title, Moving Violations Pardoned, is a play on words, according to Flinn. The directions given to dancers are sometimes like driving instructions. “It’s almost like ‘stay in your lane, keep your eye on the next driver.’ So the title refers to those types of instructions,” he says. “It also refers to dance protocol. Often these protocols that [were created with] good intentions can actually stand in the way of creativity. If you regulate something too harshly, you lose individual freedoms. We wanted to ask, ‘What can happen if the environment is a free environment, where you’re not worried about getting a speeding ticket or about driving out of your lane?’ We’re not talking about creating chaos, but we’re talking about giving liberties within creative [structure].”
“We wanted to call on the dancers’ creativity and draw on their willingness to take risks, to bring more to the performance than the directive that they were given. Dancers are always afraid of making the wrong choice…what if that’s not what the choreographer wanted?” Flinn continues. “We said, ‘All moving violations are pardoned!’ There is no consequence for trying something new. If it works, if it doesn’t work, let’s try it.”
8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. The Barn, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-626-5050 or visit danceaddeum.com. $20.
Sat., Nov. 16, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 17, 3 p.m., 2013