Denton Record Chronicle
Features editor (2009) regarding "A Gift for Emma"
"The Nutcracker" has the Snow Queen, a solo performed en pointe by a principle ballerina trained in classical methods. "A Gift for Emma", an original holiday dance show by a Denton choreographer, has the Arctic Wind. Classical dance in this case?? Not so much.
....The Arctic Wind is a solo that could stand in for the famous Snow Queen. Set on Lindsay Cole, a senior dancer with the ballet company, the piece is probably the most poetic of Racina's choreography."We set this choreography and made it a clean slate." Cole said. "It's set to what I'm good at". What Cole is good at would be contemporary ballet, a form that uses the foundation of ballet--clean extended lines and the look of a feather light torso--and the surprises of modern dance. Racina is loyal to ballet, but she philanders in the organic stuff of modern for good effect and invention; powerful arms and hands that punch and slice, hard angles with the upper body instead of the gossamer floating of ballet.
Racina isn't afraid of the floor, either. In a way, modern ballet gives into gravity as much as it defies it. Modern ballet still asks dancers to move with cat like lightness, but it also lets dancers heave downward to poke the floor with their feet. Cole's interpretation is abstract and suggestive. Her feet and legs cross the floor fast with determination. Her upper body is often locked tight and rigid. Think frozen ocean, where currents pull and plunge, hidden under a stock still barrier of ice. Cole excels at strength moves, where a dancer suddenly moves slowly and on one support leg. She's consistently conscious of lines and placement"