By Karen Hauge, KCMetropolis.org
The Owen/Cox Dance Group presented their spring performance this weekend at Union Station. It was a lively and touching performance full of their signature collaborative spirit.
The Owen/Cox Dance Group’s Saturday night performance of A Good Missouri Song began with the ensemble ruminating on fragmented themes from the traditional song “Cross The Wide Missouri.” Eerie chromatic instrumental sighing imitated the word “away,” from the familiar verse “Away, we’re bound away, ’cross the wide Missouri.” Broken lines of the folk song were sung in layers by the three singers, and the disunity of the music was echoed in the soloistic dancers, who mingled among each other, lost in their own worlds. This plaintive original material was interspersed with other music, and each mood shift back to the haunting opening material was signaled by sighing figures in the lap steel guitar. The gradual, unpredictable entry of each new tune in small pieces made listening a game—what will come next? And how long will it take before the melody finally comes together? Brad Cox’s artfully woven arrangement made the arrival of new themes exhilarating, especially the joyful, quirky bits of Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag at the end.
Chris Mullins, The Pitch
When composer Brad Cox met dancer Jennifer Owen 11 years ago, their chemistry went beyond romantic attraction. They inspired and challenged each other on an artistic level. And so, the jazz-minded musician and the ballerina with directorial aspirations decided to collaborate on a short performance project.