"Triple Focus" Kicks Off Dance Month at the JCC

The Jewish Community Center of Houston kicked off the first of three dance concerts for Dance Month at the Kaplan Theater last Saturday with a showcase of contemporary dance companies Hope Stone Dance Company, HIStory and NobleMotion Dance. NobleMotion Dance's a small place, choreographed by Andy Noble, delivered both the most delicate and the fiercest performance of the night. Erin Reck's incredible solo performance portrayed a woman on the edge of breakdown, while Noble's choreography masterfully teetered between fervent, wild gestures and quiet questioning.

HIStory, a hip-hop dance company, rocked the show with the stand-out crowd favorite Check It Out, choreographed by Joel Rivera, Mark Chaves, Bryan Paule, Jesse Garcia and Sharon Roberts. Featuring guest performers from Inertia, the Westside High School student dance company, Check It Out was a virtuosic slideshow of b-girls vs. b-boys, breakdance circles and one-upmanship. These dancers wowed with rhythmic unity and anything but out-of-the-can acrobatic feats. But even more noteworthy was the generous and sunny performance HIStory and Inertia offered up. Donning shiny black rain boots and military-gray wool dresses, Hope Stone Dance Company premiered In Situ, laced with political undertones. Artistic Director and choreographer Jane Weiner crafted a captivating dance that undulated between patriotic play and martial servitude.

(JCC's Dance Month continues with performances by the Koresh Dance Company February 5 and Houston Ballet II February 12. Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, 713-551-7255.)