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Michael Brandy, Deseret News
Allyson Haws, 9, sleeps under Chara Huckins Malaret at a "True North" dress rehearsal. Allyson Haws, 9, sleeps under Chara Huckins Malaret at a "True North" dress rehearsal.

"TRUE NORTH," CHILDREN'S DANCE THEATRE, Capitol Theatre, April 23, additional performance April 24 (801-355-2787)

The Children's Dance Theatre is back in fine form.

"True North" is the company's most balanced work to date.

The production, which opened with Misha Bergman's "Moments in the Middle," Chara Huckins-Malaret's "Kinetic Farewell" and Jacque Lynn Bell's "Shout," is filled with energetic dancing and eye-catching costumes. And the lighting design (by Gary Justesen) captures the mystical, colorful coolness of the northern regions of the earth.

Everything is sewn together with Tristan Moore's atmospheric score performed by keyboardist Moore, percussionist Kevin Anderson, guitarist/saxophonist Mike Bishop, flutist John Flanders and vocalist Kait Kingston.

"True North" is a story about a girl who has fallen from the sky. After spending years as an adopted child of the Taku people, she realizes her home lies in the north.

It so happens that she is the daughter of Father Sun and Mother Moon. So, she embarks on the long journey home.

During her travels, which is guided by a raven, a caribou king and sea queen, the girl encounters a heard of migrating caribou, stars, wolves, sea otters, playful spirits and dark deceiving spirits.

Still she overcomes the dark forces and eventually finds her way home.

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This year, CDT, while continuing to produce an original production, relies on an array of Native American legends. The company also minimizes the sets and focuses on the colorful costumes designed by Cynthia and Wendy Turner and Nancy Cook.

The production also features spirit masks and puppets designed by Anne Cannon, Craig Ebert and Lance Olsen.

The narration, by Julius Chavez and Brittney Lewis-Moe, was unobtrusive and threads the scenes together, without becoming long winded and verbose.

This year's production flows smoothly, thanks to lively choreography, and keeps the audience captivated with its quick, crafty scene transitions.

There isn't a movement or music note that is wasted.

e-mail: scott@desnews.com