Tari Aceh: Dance from Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
Ten years since the “…devastating tsunami killed over 200,000 people…” in Aceh (Sumatra, Indonesia), they bring their dance to us. Known for combining text, poetry, dance, and movement that reflects local culture as well as a strong Islamic influence, this performance will illustrate “…the resilience of the people and a new generation of young women whose traditions have provided an important part of the healing process,” according to the release. “One of the hallmarks of Acehnese dance is a form of body percussion in which various rhythms are created by slapping the body or clapping. One form — saman — is done in a tight line, shoulder-to-shoulder, becoming almost a singular-being moving at split-second speed. The form is not only entertaining, but also has an educational side which reflects the morals and teachings of the community.” This program is part of Asia Society's ongoing initiative Creative Voices of Muslim Asia. This performance will be preceded at 7:00 pm by a pre-performance lecture. Concurrently, you can tune in to AsiaSociety.org/Live at 7:00 pm New York time for a free live video webcast. A Dance Workshop with Tari Aceh is also scheduled for Sunday, March 1 at 11:00 AM. Find out more here
Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company
February 24 - March 1
Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company celebrate its 30th year with two programs of premieres and repertory favorites. Program A: Grace and The Subtle One (premiere), danced to a suite composed and performed live by Jason Moran and his band, The Bandwagon. Program B: Through Time and Culture (New York premiere), a solo by Brown, along with the company premiere of Why You Follow/Por Que Sigues. Find out more here
Ballet with a Twist
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Katie Murphy Amiphitheatre
Costume designer Catherine Zehr will discuss her career with Ballets with a Twist as part of the museum’s “Fashion Culture series.” Excerpts from artistic director and choreographer Marilyn Klaus’ Cocktail Hour: The Show will be a part of the event. Find out more here
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
New York City Center
February 26, 27 – March 1
As part of New York City Center's A Bailar: Dance at the Center Festival Cherkaoui's m¡longa features 10 tango dancers from Buenos Aires, two contemporary dancers from Europe and an Argentinean tango band of five musicians. Find out more here
Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center
Brooklyn-based, Venezuelan-born choreographer López rediscovers her own physicality and psyche in her solo, El Regreso (The Return). Find out more here
Schimmel Center at Pace University
February 27 – 28
Jennifer Backhaus will perform excerpts of Incandescent and the New York premiere of the full-length piece The Elasticity of the Almost. Find out more here
The Bang Group
92nd Street Y
February 27, 28 – March 1
For the second week of 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Festival, The Bang Group founder David Parker and his company performs four dances from his new initiative, Tap Lab, which features contemporary dancers with roots in tap creating up-to-the-minute rhythm dance. Find out more here
Lotus Music & Dance Theater
The annual performance series, World in the City returns with traditional music and dance that highlights the similarities and differences between cultures as well as presents rarely seen art forms. This event will explore two Indonesian Dance Styles: Balinese and West Sumatran. Find out more here
The Moving Beauty Series
The Secret Theater
Juan Michael Porter II, Artistic Director of this series, brings a variety of dance performances together in one month featuring the 49th Parallel Dance Company, DoubleTake Dance, T Production/Chieh HsiungHsiung , monica hogan danceworks , Sunhwa Chung/Ko-Ryo Dance Theatre, Inclined Dance Project, Alison Cook Beatty , Mari Meade Dance Collective, Julie Petrusak, Teresa Cuevas, seymour:dancecollective, Thomas/Ortiz Dance and so much more. Find out more here
Gibney Dance is pleased to announce a call for proposals for boo-koo, our space grant and community giveback initiative for choreographers in the early stages of their career.
Six selected artists will receive 50 hours of free space and a $1,000 stipend to enhance their creative process. In exchange, the participating artists will “giveback” by designing and implementing a project that will serve the community.
The application is now open. We will accept a total of 50 proposals on a strictly first-come, first-served basis.
Bronx Dance Coalition Bulletin: Looking for Women of Trans experience to perform at BAAD!
Please call BAAD!
Performance for the BAAD!ASS WOMEN Festival
Call us at 718 918 2110
Once again, at Peak Performances, the audience is part of the evening, they don’t just sit there! Choreographers/artistic and general directors, Emio Greco and Pieter C. Scholten's Rocco, inspired by the classic Italian film, Rocco & His Brothers, had it's local premiere, February 12-15. The audience is led, all at once to ringside seats where Quentin Dehaye and Arnaud Macquet, seated with wide legs and slumped torsos “smoke” and flick “ashes” from their cigarettes in the midst of a stare down from across the ring. Without warning, there is a loud bell, followed by an equally loud countdown (10-0) which prompts Dereck Cayla and Edward Lloyd, in all black including face masks, boxing gloves and mice ears, to charge the space from the audience, and in a quick comedic round, circles the ring, taunts the audience to punch or join in their preparatory jumping jacks. Two distinctly charged duets ensued, the first by Dehaye and Macquet is slow and tempered where in a couple of rounds of sparring and fitting their bodies together into welcoming curves, they take on different personas dictated by a single light center stage that grows with each new movement idea. The repeating loud bell separated each round. After complete exhaustion, Dehaye and Macquet leaves and Cayla and Lloyd began their more aggressive, more contact-driven duet with pushups on their fists. Later they mixed a few rounds of sinewy ballet moves with quick boxer-like footwork. Kudos to Greco and Scholten for melding these two worlds so beautifully.
In just one hour of dancing and a few minutes of welcome and thanks, opening night for the Martha Graham Dance Company, February 10, was enough of a tease. After all, for this performance the roster included American Ballet Theatre (ABT) soloist Misty Copeland in an excerpt/new arrangement of the 1940 classic Letter to the World newly named At Summer's Full, a collaborative set design by architect cum artist Frank Gehry, and four of the recently commissioned Lamentation Variations to commemorate the 85th anniversary of Lamentation (1930). The season, titled Shape&Design, runs until February 22. Peter Arnell's film made from 2000 handsome photographs of the dancers opened, followed by At Summer's Full with Copeland partnered by company member Lloyd Mayor with the Company. There was a bit of anticipation to see Copeland in a Graham work (other ABT dancers have performed the work), but it was an absolute delight to see the Company in full-force Graham-style: drama, contractions, processionals and all. Copeland did a very good job. Graham dancing Lamentation on a larger-than-life screen covering the entire stage introduced the Lamentation Variations by Liz Gerring, Michelle Dorrance, Kyle Abraham and Sonya Tayeh. Nothing can surpass seeing Graham dance the work; thank goodness her performance was filmed. By far, Gerring and Abraham told the story in their distinct ways: Gerring offered sleek lines and shapes in space, and from Abraham, a delightful array of shape-shifting and partnering. Dorrance and Tayeh took a non-linear and questionable route. Other Lamentation Variations, not shown on opening night, are by Larry Keigwin and Bulareyaung Pagarlava. Fittingly, the evening closed with a throw-back and robust performance of Steps in the Street (1936) with stage design by Gehry. Signature Graham moments exploded on the stage: women is long, black dresses and tight buns traversing the stage in despair, bodies contorting in "pleadings," and arresting choral passes against Gehry's complimentary "dancing" lines across the back wall. The Shape&Design season also features Graham classics Panorama and Chronicle, dances from 1935–36 that set the standard for geometric and structural force onstage, along with Errand into the Maze (1947) and Embattled Garden (1958), masterworks with sets by sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Frontier (1935), Diversion of Angels (1948), and an excerpt from Primitive Mysteries (1931).
A sure way to introduce audiences to new dance formats (well, maybe not so new), is to mix things up—a lot. Flex dancer, Jay Donn joined Michele Wiles, artistic director of BalletNEXT and cellist/composer Christopher Lancaster to create the new work, Something Sampled for their season “Baroque'd” at New York Live Arts (NYLA), February 10-14. Donn brings the East New York-born, bone-popping flex dance, Wiles brings her years of ballet training (she is an ex-American Ballet Theatre principle), and together, with Lancaster and his instruments that “dance,” they are a wild blend. Something Sampled was last on the program. Get past the long setup which features Donn and all is well. He enters from the back of the house in a black jumpsuit, sneakers with wings, makes his way to the stage clapping, smiling, giggling, and the audience joins intermittently. Meanwhile, the crew and Lancaster begin the long set up. There is bling everywhere, strings of circular light bulbs hang from the ceiling along the back wall, Lancaster's eyes are outlined with shimmers, the dancer’s tutu’s light up, and a barre takes center stage. The costumes are funky (bright colors and patterns, plus marionette-like tutus), there’s hair flying; the primary look was over-the-top, but you just had to go with it. Ballet and flex finally meet, and Donn, seemingly floats along with his Svengali-like wave of an arm manipulating bodies, or positioning himself in their groupings, while the others take off with their deconstructed ballet moves. Most enjoyable was the chemistry between Wiles and Donn in their final duet, they have fun, take chances, exchange moves and deconstruct the ballet formula. Also on the program was Outswirl by Peter Quanz, and Ushuaia by Miles, both with lighting by Ben Hagen that captured the eye at particularly interesting times. The dancers are: Gracie Huber, Tiffany Mangulabnan, Amy Saunder, Jessica Tretter and Landes Dixon. Live music was by Liv Heym, Beth Wenstrom, Anneke Schaul-Yoder and Elliot Figg.
white road Dance Media
February 19, 27 and March 7
Marisa Gruneberg, director and choreographer for white road Dance Media, gives viewers a front seat when they get to “see what the dancers see” in the company’s full-length contemporary dance work, NEON BRAVE. “Projections unique to each of the four performers will allow the audience to experience the feeling of existing and participating in the performers’ environment. This footage from GoPro cameras will offer a different type of audience immersion, unique to wrDM's production,” notes the release. GoPros will be attached to dancers, with both pre-recorded and live footage projected at different times throughout the work. NEON BRAVE will also challenge the idea of a traditional run by presenting once a week over the course of three weeks. Find out more here
Audio Visual Arts
Brandt opens her 2015 ISSUE Project Room residency with a new and yet to be titled durational work described as “…an inquiry of the human form as a material, revealing what happens when a method, formal system or ideology is laid upon the body. The piece invites the viewer to experience movement within a broad range of proximity, point of view and duration, exploring the relationship between the transient natures of dance performance and gallery viewership,” notes the release. Find out more here
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Kean University, Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."