This Month's MagazineDining and SpiritsArts and EntertainmentTravel and LeisureHome and Real EstateHealth and WellnessShopping & FashionEvents and PicsElegant Wedding Magazine

Bookmark and share

Issue Date: November 2009


Do-Re-Masterful


Jennifer Keirn

It might be named after everyone’s favorite nun-turned-nanny, but don’t expect Fräulein Maria — the DANCECleveland production coming to the Hanna Theatre Nov. 20 and 21 — to be a linear retelling of The Sound of Music tale.

“I’m embarrassingly nonlinear in my thinking,” says Doug Elkins, the acclaimed New York-based dancer and choreographer who created the work. “It’s a deconstruction of The Sound of Music that slips in and out of the narrative.”

Elkins’ style reflects his mastery of hip-hop, club and break dancing — “I paid my way through college break dancing,” he says — combined with classical and modern dance influences. The result is a mash-up that includes an audience sing-along, a human Alps range and plenty of laugh-out-loud humor that might make the Mother Abbess blush.

“[Elkins] is in that cool, downtown, avant-garde dance community, maybe even at the top of it,” says DANCECleveland executive director Pamela Young. “His work is smart and interesting, and he creates dance a little differently.”

When Young came across a DVD of a New York showing of Fräulein Maria last fall while she was planning DANCECleveland’s 2009-10 season, she laughed herself right off her chair.

“I scrapped my plans,” Young remembers. “The economy had fallen off a cliff, and everything seemed bleak and heavy. I thought this might bring a little laughter to Cleveland.”

Cleveland’s one of only five places outside of New York that will see Fräulein Maria this fall — coinciding unintentionally with the 50th anniversary of the premiere of The Sound of Music on Broadway — and Elkins will include a handful of locals with a dozen or so dancers accompanying him on stage.

Die-hard Sound of Music fans should come prepared for Elkins’ at-times irreverent take on the material — in “Sixteen Going On Seventeen,” the part of Liesl is danced by a guy, for instance — but to quibble would be to miss out on a whole lot of fun.

“I’m sure we’ll have some audience members saying, ‘What were they thinking?’ ” Young says. “But we’ll have a good time. The dancing is fun and smart and doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

“There’s something for everyone in Fräulein Maria,” insists Elkins, whether you’re a von Trapp purist or a Sound-of-What?

“Maybe you had to sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ in kindergarten, or you’ve only heard the Gwen Stefani remix of ‘The Lonely Goatherd,’ ” he says. “It’s whatever you bring to it.”


Comments. All comments must be approved by our editorial staff.
 
Choose an identity
Other Anonymous
 
Name 
Website 
All of these fields are optional.
CAPTCHA Validation
Retype the code from the picture
CAPTCHA Code Image
Speak the code Change the code
 


Home | Subscribe | Archives | Advertise | Newsstands | Contact Us | Jobs | Legal
© Cleveland Magazine 2014 | P: (216) 771-2833 | F: (216) 781-6318 | 1422 Euclid Ave. Suite 730 Cleveland, Ohio 44115
This site is a member of the City & Regional Magazine Association