Rouge delivers comedy amid gravity-defying tricks
Rouge ends with four dancers extending outwards from a suspended cube. It’s the finale to a heart-pounding cabaret show that’s included performers dangling from silks that seem just a little too thin to support an adult person’s weight and artists rounding the stage in giant hula hoops.
Individual acts highlight the diverse talents of members of Charlotte, North Carolina-based dance company Caroline Calouche and Co. There’s the expected acrobatics pieces and contemporary dance numbers, as well as more nontraditional, surprisingly hilarious moments. Performers spoof Swan Lake. Mistress of ceremonies Rachael Houdek invites crowd members to join her onstage for (completely voluntary) audience participation that’s just as fun as it is funny. The production is a mixture of all the different things dance can be.
“Dance and circus arts are a universal language,” Caroline Calouche, artistic director of the dance company and one of the show’s performers, tells CL over email. “You can take a class or watch a show by people who speak a language other than your own and know what is going on.”
The company is joined in Atlanta by guest artists Jen MacQueen and Daniel Gwirtzman, both dance professors at Kennesaw State University, as well as Constance Palmer and McKinley Vitale of Atlanta-based movement studio the Space.
Houdek kicks the show off with a Postmodern Jukebox-rendition of “No Diggity" and smugly mentions some of the acts to come. It’s the first hint that the show might be more than just gravity-defying acrobatics and terrifying aerial tricks — that it intends to surprise you.