IndyFringe: In the Company of Women

This is part of IndyFringe 2022, Aug. 18-Sept. 4 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

Though (as I’ve often noted) I’m not expert on dance, I have long appreciated the works of Crossroads Dance Indy. And once again, they did not disappoint with their latest Fringe festival offering, “In the Company of Women.”

Choreographed by company members Brittany Gaither, Nicole Dean, Sammi Kindler, Daniella Conti, Paisley Gibson, and Katie Porras, CDI pays tribute to womanhood, as well as specific women.

The beginning piece weaves in words suggested by audience members describing the women in their lives. The number that follows highlights the various professions and roles that women take in life and the workplace. At the center is the Teacher, who helps make the others possible. And in a world that allows women to do more than teach, we see the Executive, the Healer, the Fighter, the Caregiver – all beautifully rendered.

A tribute to Jane Goodall portrays a woman standing alone, not conforming to the human jungle, and finding empathy with the denizens of the natural world. A tribute to Julia Child reveals kitchen activity to be more fun than drudgery, reflecting Child’s upbeat attitude and brave life.

Dean created a duet for Taylor Brown and Lindley Hipsher inspired by the hypnotic style of turn of the 20th century choreographer Loie Fuller, which is a wonderful highlight of the show.

Another great piece portrays how the patriarchy of the 1940s and ‘50s saw Rosie the Riveter and Susie Homemaker to be opposites, a choice of giving up one for the other. As the music gives way to an old radio show, “What Makes You Tick?” the Rosies and Susies unite to confront shallow, outdated attitudes.

The company also includes Hope Frey, Alexis Julovich, Nicole Kelter, Clarice Nolan, Hannah Scott, and Ashleigh South.

Crossroads dance gives an inspiring performance, with the grace, flow and energy I’ve come to expect from this dancer-driven company. They take joy in what they do, and so will you.

Upcoming performances are Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon, Aug. 25 and 28, in the Basile Auditorium at the Athenaeum.

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