Troupe kicks into high gear

Performance: Fledgling American Dance Artists, led by the Canterna sisters of Linthicum, bring a crowd-pleasing show to the Chesapeake Arts Center.


Arundel Live

October 21, 2004|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Dance enthusiasts had much to appreciate in the program "From Broadway to Hollywood" offered at Chesapeake Arts Center on Friday and Saturday by American Dance Artists.

Formed in spring 2002 by 21-year-old artistic director Adrienne Canterna and her sister, 19-year-old Ashley, both of Linthicum, American Dance Artists has a goal of presenting exceptional dance performances twice yearly at Chesapeake Arts Center in Brooklyn Park.

Ranging in age from 17 to 23, the company includes the Canterna sisters and their 23-year-old sister-in-law, Alicia Canterna, along with Jodi Adkins, Robbie Nicholson, Zola Williams, Allyson Kelly and Travis Wall. This fledgling company displays an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, athleticism, professionalism and attractiveness. These talented dancers create joyous on-stage entertainment that rivals longer-established dance groups.

After the performance, Sally Canterna - mother of Adrienne, Ashley and sons Andy and Tony - explained that she has supported her daughters' dancing from the time the girls began at ages 2 and 3, including designing and making costumes and later handling publicity.

The Canterna family's strong allegiance to its Linthicum community is reflected in the desire to be based at nearby Chesapeake Arts Center. "Adrienne and Ashley are so happy with what they do that they want everyone else to have a good time and to leave the theater happy," Sally Canterna said.

The program had wide appeal. The humorous "Sisters" spoofed sibling rivalry in a hilarious takeoff of Carmen featuring Adrienne, Ashley, and Alicia Canterna. A change of pace followed with the poignant "A Nurse's Diary" that evoked assisting a wounded soldier, sensitively danced by junior guest Angelica Stiskin.

Widely appealing with its familiar musical themes was an eight-segment "James Bond Medley" showcasing some spectacular dancing. James Bond was danced by 19-year-old Nicholson, a lithe and loose-jointed athletic dancer. He impressed in solo work and in precise, demanding partnering with Williams, 18, ("Die Another Day") and with Wall, 18 ("The Acid Remix").

Alicia Canterna danced an exquisite "Moonraker" filled with drama and grace. Sensuous in her bejeweled gold costume, Ashley Canterna danced a stunning "Goldfinger," and Adrienne was just as memorable in an exciting "Diamonds are Forever."

As part of its mission to showcase other talented dance groups, ADA treated us to a fascinating performance of Chinese folk dance in "Thousand Hand Bodhisattva" by the East West Dance Company.

Choreographed by Adrienne and Ashley Canterna, "Wilkomen" from Cabaret proved a highlight featuring the whole company. I liked the elegant simplicity of Wall's "All I Need Is the Girl" from Gypsy, Williams' "Dance of the Robe" from Aida and Nicholson and Wall's exciting tap dancing in "Moses Supposes" from the legendary film Singing in the Rain, along with the razzmatazz finale 42nd Street tap number danced by the whole company.

American Dance Artists is a rising young company that adds pizazz to the local dance scene and knows how to please its audience. Check out its Web site at www.americandanceartists.

`Hollow' for Halloween

Ballet Theatre of Maryland opens its season with Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Mendelssohn's Italian Symphonette at 8 p.m. tomorrow and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto will bring life to Washington Irving's tale of Ichabod Crane's descent into darkness after being turned down by his love, Katrina, for macho Brom Van Brunt. In addition to ghosts and goblins, there will be special effects to surprise the audience. A fund-raising reception will follow tomorrow evening's show.

At Saturday's performance, trick-or-treaters have a chance to win prizes during the Safe Halloween party with a costume contest beginning at 1 p.m. A parade of children in costumes will take place on stage during intermission right before the prizes are awarded. Information: 410-263-8289.

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