Suidy (center) and dancers in Betwen Worlds
(© Carol Rosegg)
Suidy (center) and dancers in Betwen Worlds
(© Carol Rosegg)
Between Worlds, the dance musical now at New World Stages, will remind you of many other better musicals. For example, its story about an apocalyptic drought suggests Urinetown and 110 in the Shade, and the lovers from two warring tribes also brings West Side Story to mind.

Sadly, Between Worlds doesn't have the humor of Urinetown, the score to match 110 in the Shade, or the style of West Side Story. Nevertheless, under Pablo Croce's direction, the show is visually mesmerizing and holds a certain kind of excitement thanks to the fierce dancing on display.

If one truly wants to follow the story in depth, you must read the program. From the stage, you will simply understand that there is a group of Flamenco dancers, made up mostly of women, and a group of Hip Hop dancer/percussionists that are mostly men. Neither speaks in any known language other than dance.

The star-crossed lover scenario focuses on the beautiful and commanding lead Flamenco dancer, Siudy (who also choreographed the show), who is compelled to leave her tribe after falling in love with one of the Hip Hop guys. Under pressure from his gang, he betrays her and she ends up imprisoned. Finally, there is a dance battle between the two groups that ends when the now freed Siudy dances up a storm -- literally -- and makes it rain.

Unfortunately, the over-amplified canned music tends to rob the flamenco dancers, in particular, of the percussive effect of their steps. Their sound gets muted in the overall din.

On the plus side, one can enjoy the expressive costumes designed by Siudy and her mother Siudy Quintero. The set design by Neil Patel accentuates the barren landscape in which the action unfolds, while the lighting design by Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager provides the mysterious mood in which this "fantasia" takes place.