EMAV Review: Artfully exploring the human condition, two ensembles 'Coalesce' for UNLV Dance

★★★★☆ - Delicious

New York City based Harper Continuum Dance Theatre and Las Vegas' own Red Desert Dance Ensemble came together this past weekend to perform their intriguing and insightful concert "Coalesce," presented by UNLV Department of Dance in Dance Studio One at the Alta Ham Fine Arts. In meaningful collaboration the two contemporary dance companies take very different approaches in style and tone to an intense examination of the ways in which humans do, and also don't, manage to connect.

Their respective pieces are presented in two separate acts and include additional art forms such as poetry, spoken word, live vocalizations, and even live painting. And while the two ensembles do unite in harmonious coalescence toward the end of the concert, it's only a momentary convergence. As a whole the disparate styles don't quite blend, but contrast, perhaps, is precisely the point.

The first half of the show is shaped by the hustle and bustle of a busy city with its endless possibilities for meaningful connection. It proves the perfect landscape for the contemplative modern dance work "Strangers on the Street," a collection of ten pieces choreographed by Cathy Allen, artistic director of Red Desert Dance Ensemble. Each number i