'Stroke of the Oarsmen' (2005) played to her strengths –
"Suffice it to say that Sohl-Ellison laid out dancing phrases that were simpatico with the
ambience and fervent drive of this percussion score, played live by Ellison
and Bob Fernandez.|
'Stroke' began with Sohl-Ellison and Ellison, her husband, center stage, shifting white smoke covering their feet. Ellison blew a persistent mournful cry from the horn, while the dancer stroked the floor with the side of her foot, her upper body bent as though broken.
The sections that followed this atmospheric introduction were peppy and staccato: a duet for longtime dancer Pauline Hagino and Ellison, another duo for Fernandez and Carroll and three group sections.
Carroll delivered fireworks with his feet while his face showed an infectious aw-shucks humbleness. In his 'Strokes' improvisation and in his other solo work, Carroll alternated between a flurry of lightning-fast, grace notes, turning leaps, and larger-than-life wing steps. He was on his heels and sides of his shoes as often as he was flat-footed. Like an uninhibited kid, he repeatedly slid the length of the stage, just verging on toppling over. He is a highlight of any Rhapsody concert."
Laura Bleiberg - The Orange County Register