By Laura Latzko
Each relationship has its own unique story and dynamic. Cazo Dance Company’s newest production spotlights two very different couples through dance.
On April 7 and 8, the dance company will put on Fate, a show following two pairings brought together by destiny.
Artistic Director Bridgette Borzillo said similarly to other Cazo productions, Fate takes audiences through a gamut of emotions and tells a story to which they will feel connected.
“I’m hoping to hear laughter, tears and a little bit of mumbling because I want people to be surprised with the storyline,” Borzillo said.
The show takes place in two different eras: the 1950s and the modern day.
The first half of the production focuses on Dean and Suzy Lee, portrayed by Alexander Patrick and Martha Hernandez. In the second half, audiences get to know Dane and Scarlett, depicted by dancers Dominique Bailey and Micaela Martin.
Each of the main character’s personalities is developed through dance. Borzillo describes Dean as “nerdy and astute” yet also “protective as loyal;” Suzy Lee, as a “bookworm” who is “very proper” but also has a bit of a “wild side;” Dane, as a “romantic” and a “gambler” and Scarlett, as a “wild child.”
“I am very big on character development,” Borzillo said. “I do my best to give everybody the storyline beforehand, so they have the time to develop their characters and their nuances all through the rehearsal process.”
The company, which was founded in 2014, started its 2017-2018 season with Asylum: The Undertaking, a show set in a mental institution, with popular characters from horror movies.
Borzillo said through darker and more upbeat works, audiences get to see different sides of her as a person and choreographer.
“I’m a hopeless romantic, but I’m also a horror film freak,” Borzillo said.
In April 2016, Cazo produced for the second time Remember When: An Old Fashioned Love Story, a show based on the relationship between the choreographer’s grandparents.
Borzillo said the show has a more humorous feel than other productions she has choreographed, which have been about more serious topics. Choreographing a more lighthearted show has been a whole different experience for her.
“My sense of humor is coming out in it. I have an odd sense of humor, so I worry that some people won’t get it, but it’s been fun to create something that’s not so personal to me,” Borzillo said. “It’s been different because I’m stepping out of my style a little bit.”
Borzillo said the show transformed during the rehearsal process because of what the dancers brought to their roles.
“When I started this show, I didn’t even think it would be humorous, and it just turned into that. I think it’s because of the dancers that I have. The dancers have really brought out that humorous side because of their personalities. I fed off of that,” Borzillo said.
In the company, the dancers have a wide range of backgrounds, including modern/contemporary, ballet and hip hop.
A majority of the music in the show comes from the 1940s through 1970s. A preshow during Remember When, in which the singers did 1940s music, inspired Borzillo to develop Fate.
“I feel like the oldies [music] has such as realness to it. A lot of music nowadays is superficial to me,” Borzillo said. “A lot of it told stories. You’d feel something.”
The show incorporates a range of dance styles, including ballroom, jazz and contemporary.
Borzillo said this production has more of a focus on ballroom styles, including East and West Coast Swing, the waltz and the tango.
“I wanted to do more partner dancing in this one,” Borzillo said. “I wanted to make it more of a Broadway feel because I feel that the older music has a Broadway feel.”
During Cazo shows, preshow entertainers help to create a specific mood and immerse audiences into the work.
For the 30 minutes prior to the start of the show, MAC and Company, a local dance company formed by Micaela Church and Li Pei Khoo, will perform two pieces with a similar aesthetic and tone as Fate.
Cazo Dance Company’s Production of Fate
Friday, April 7, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 8, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix
$20 general admission, $15 students, $35 VIP preferred seating.