Friday, June 8, 2012


Photo by Valerie Sebestyen

By Nancy Condit

Hartel Dance Group gave a wonderful performance last night in its studio on the fifth floor of the Magnolia Building.  “hdg/dancingdowntown” was a full evening of dance in their studio surrounded by windows giving a view of downtown Oklahoma City.  Since it is a barebones intimate space, come prepared for bleachers.

All pieces except one were choreographed by Austin Hartel. Performances continue with 8 P.M. programs Friday and Saturday night – the latter with a meet-the-dancers after party, and a Children’s Show at Saturday morning.  The studio is at 722 N. Broadway and
N.W. 7th Street

“Sunrise On Hatteras,” with music by Led Zeppelin, was the evening’s standout for its musicality and fun.  Mermaids in short tunics frolicked on the stage floor, legs-tails raised in the air.  In the more energetic second half, they rose to a wide legged stance and ritual took over as they jumped together on the stage, echoing the music, or the music echoed them.

“Bicuspid,” choreographed in 1989, remains an outstanding dance, as the two dancers, joined at the root, as a bicuspid is, follow each other’s movements.  At times they try to break away, but come back together to shadow each other.

Throughout the evening, dancers rose on the tops of their feet, then fell back to the stage, gave huge leaps across the stage, and, as in Hatteras, did wonderful pirouettes.

Becca Schmedt’s choreography of “A Different Look,” as people waited for the subway by themselves, and then sought solace among the crowd, showed a good use of sounds and music, and really good moves for the company.

“Network,” choreographed by Hartel and Academy of Contemporary Music student Aaron Robinson, an experimental work in progress, “visually explored the virtual connection to each other and the world around us through the use of technology,” from the program.  At this point, the three dancers’ meetings resembled a hall of mirrors with reflections of previous meetings.

Company dancers include Thrysa De Rosa Hartel, Lynna M. Schneider, Nicolette Battle, Clare Springer, Samantha Kropp, Renee Beneteau, Cameelah Pennington, and Elyse son.     

Tickets purchased in advance are $10.00. Those purchased at the door are $15.00 Advance purchases and additional information about the Hartel Dance Group can be found on-line at

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