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April 21, 1979 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-04-21

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Page 12-Saturday, April 21, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Hydra' coils in to action

By ANNA NISSEN
Starting a dance company isn't as
easy as kick-ball-change, as Peter Ken-
tes or any member of Hydra Dance-
Theatre School can tell you. Above
Capitol Market on Fourth Avenue, in a
small studio roughly eight shuffle steps
wide by fifteen long, Kentes and others
are constantly working. A member of
the Michigan Dance Association, Hydra
offers instruction in jazz, ballet,
Modern Dance, and disco, and on Sun-
day afternoons the seven member
company gathers at the barre to warm
up and rehearse their repertoire.
The dancers range in age from seven-
teen to twenty-two, including three
EMU dance graduates and Laurice
Hamp, the New York trained Ballet
Mistress of Hydra, who sees the com-
pany's main objectives as "bringing
jazz back to Ann Arbor."
Benedette Palazzola, the youngest
company member, has been schooled
primarily with Kentes and the Hydra
staff: "Whatever career I'll eventually
have as a dance begins here," says the
lithe Community High student.
Kentes prefers to keep the company
small and manageable. "I have to train
people my own way," he says. Trained
in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New
York, and a graduate of UM School of
Dance, he insists on regional and
stylistic eclecticism. His choreography
unites classic ballet, "L.A. Style" jazz,
and modern dance technique, and is
spiced with disco, Broadway soft shoe,
and even the communicative postures
we see everyday on the street. Kentes
reasons, "The more versatile you are,
the more tools you have to work with,
and the more kinds of movement ex-
perience you can get."

are familiar to us, Kentes stresses that
television and its rhetorical gestures
must definitely be taken into account.
"I want to reach the greatest amount of
people possible," about sums up his
philosophy.
Although Hydra hasn't been much in
the spotlight recently, Ann Arborites
had the* opportunity of seeing a
premiere concert at the Art Fair last
July, and Kentes plans an encore per-
formance this summer. Others may
recognize Kentes from his solo perfor-
mances on television's Kelly & Co., and
as the choreographer for Musket's 1978
production of West Side Story. If there
is one unifying trait in his style it is a
slinky, continuous movement and a
seemingly extremporaneous rhythmic
inflection. "Jazz is what I feel closest
to," he confesses.
ASIDE FROM FORMAL dance con-
certs, the Hydra Company also par-
ticipates in modelling shows, and last
week gave a benefit display of Ilya's
Fashions for the American Cancer
Company. Modelling too is enriched
with jazz form. "We are dancers first
and models second," Kentes maintains,
but again emphasizes that no genre of
the performing arts is completely
autarkic today.
Ultimately, Kentes would like to see
Hydra incorporated. He realizes this
will take sweat and time, so continues
day to day offering what is really some
of the most rigorous and most in-
dividualized jazz instruction available
in Ann Arbor. What epitomizes the
spirit and perseverance of Hydra is
Kentes' favorite practice shirt. It is a
bright red T emblazoned with the
knock-on-wood plea, "FEET DON'T
FAIL!"

Peter Kentes and Laurice Hamp of the Hydra Dance-Theater Company
work on a routine at their Fourth Ave. studio right above the Capitol Market.
HE ENCOURAGES endurance, in that field.
strength, and flexibility in his dancers, Kentes' choreography aims at getting
and requires no less of himself. Within his audience to think about things in
the last two years he has undertaken their own lives. Since we associate cer-
gymnastics and "become competent" tain ideas with body movements that

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