Hart’s poignant and skillful work, with vibrant designs that rivaled any of this season’s wildflower displays, set a tone of ebullience and catharsis... ‘To Here,’ Hart’s first commission for the company (she’s a member of the Ballet Austin Academy faculty and has choreographed for Ballet Austin II), displayed a deep and refreshing sensitivity to ballet’s basic aspirations – grace and expression of the upper body, outwardness, pliability, ballon – rather than limit-pushing of line and steps.
“Halfway through the program, Ballet Austin II performed ‘Strange Shadows’ by choreographer Jennifer Hart. If it weren’t conventionally inappropriate, I’d kiss her on the lips, because here is an example of modern done right. ... Ms. Hart’s choreography was a stunning blend of contemporary movements and classical technique that was fresh without being pompous in its complexity. Sometimes, in an effort to be profound, a choreographer loses their audience with pieces that are so highly overworked (I call them Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink pieces) that they end up looking, not epic, but sloppy. In this case, less was more. Executed under a dark motif with the presence of a single spotlight, this was one of the rare times where the relationships in a co-ed modern piece didn’t feel canned or disingenuous. ... Having scratched my eyes out over bland, even ridiculous, modern pieces in the past, ‘Strange Shadows’ was salve to restore my vision.”
“Life on stage reaches its apex in the evening’s last performance, Sam Feipel dancing Jennifer Hart’s ‘The Lamb.’ This strenuous and dramatic work, with the dance often taking place at the edge of the harsh music, or the roving lights, or the dancer’s ability, takes on — you guessed it — the suffering of Christ....above polemic, Hart holds her work beyond simple evangelism — more Caravaggio, less The Light of the World...you could probably dismiss... Hart...as old-fashioned, out of date. But to do that, you’d have to (a) forget that the postmodern is only one aspect of the contemporary and (b) ignore the intensity of dance and dancer, their restless search for honesty, for a way forward.”
“Finally, JSB reprises Jennifer Hart’s ‘Lightspace,’ a welcome reminder of the brilliant Ms. Hart, who has since lit out for Texas.”