Earthen Vessels, the Sandra Organ Dance Company is currently showcasing Luck of the Draw, the 13th annual Black History Month Dance Concert, an evening of contemporary dance by choreographer Sandra Organ Solis. Of the nine dances featured, Delight Songs was the winner -- the choreography was concise, and the performance lighthearted. Trios, duets and solos unfolded on top of an enchanting soundtrack. The voices of children recounted a metaphoric play-by-play of the movement of the dancers-- "I am an airplane, I am the dream in I have a dream, I am the goddess of a fruit tree" -- leaving the viewer to ask: Is the choreography reflecting the text, or are the children describing the dance as they see it?
Another gem of the evening was Rock Paper Scissor (2004). Four dancers decked out in combat fatigues tumbled, wrangled and saluted against a backdrop of blocky, graphic hand signals. While I deeply appreciated the equal-opportunity partnering of women and men, women and women, and men and men, the potential political punch of this dance fell a bit short. Also of note was Rails, Rows and Seasons, a vibrant premiere directly inspired by Four Seasons, a painting by Houston artist John T. Biggers. Noteworthy performers of the evening include Paola Georgudis, Courtney D. Jones and Candace Rattliff, who each delivered a brightness with their dancing that transcended the execution of the choreography.
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(Through February 27. Sandra Organ Dance Company at Barnevelder Movement Arts Complex, 2201 Preston, 713-529-1819)