Hubbard Street Dance at The Joyce - www.joyce.org
Schultz - "Recall"
Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance completes their two-week season at The Joyce on Sunday, Sunday, May 26, and truthfully, this run must not be missed. In two programs, they present works by some esteemed dance makers in the business: Program A – Aszure Barton’s Untouched (2010), Robyn Mineko Williams’ Recall (2012), resident choreographer, Alejandro Cerrudo’s Pacopepepluto (2011) and Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s Too Beaucoup (2011). The shorter Program B was the showstopper offering up only two works, Ohad Nahari’s Three To Max (2011) and Mats Ek’s Casi-Casa (2009). By far what is most memorable is the company’s command of skill; the dancers are simply beautiful technicians. The women, for example, in fabulous long dresses with thigh-high splits against a backdrop of floor to ceiling red velvet curtains in Barton’s Untouched, seemed even more elegant when without effort they would take a leg through that split, from the floor to ceiling and back down. Ole! Or, for instance, the technical prowess of David Schultz, Kevin J. Shannon, Jessica Tong, Jacqueline Burnett, Pablo Piantino and Jason Hortin in Williams’ Recall. They manipulated, they punctuated, they tested gravity and they were refined in what seemed like rush hour—walking, walking and walking endlessly. Plus, dancing to songs that include “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin, dancers Johnny McMillan, Schultz and Piantino showed some muscle in Cerrudo’s Pacopepepluto. In the unison driven Too Beaucoup, the company offered a rendition of The Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance’s Carte Blache, also choreographed by Eyal and Behar, but both don’t really match up. There is a raw and grittiness expected from a presentation of any work by Naharin. Here, the technicians of Hubbard Street began to offer up this rawness just before the work ended when from two diagonal lines and one straight down center, a dancer from each line, commanding the audience’s attention did their own thing. There was, for example, a yoga pose, one leg lifted by one arm and held to the side for as long as the dancer wanted/needed to, a gymnastic tumble followed by a dangerous balance, or some purposefully awkward explosion where limbs would fly and then stillness quickly followed. Once each dancer, on their own timing finished, they would pause, move to the end of the line, and another three would take their place and so on, and so on. Rawness did however come through in the way each performer owned their role in Ek’s take on the family in Casi-Casa. Kudos and plaudits to Quinn B. Wharton for a stunning opening solo and to Jacqueline Burnett and Jonathan Fredrickson for a refreshingly genuine duet.
Hubbard Street Dance at The Joyce - www.joyce.org
Ailey Campers - Photo: Christopher Duggan
Put aside the fact that folks get dressed up in their very best for the annual gala “Ailey at the Apollo,” and remember the reason for the festivities—to support students of The Ailey School and Ailey’s Arts In Education & Community Programs which serve
“…more than 100,000 young people annually; including AileyCamp.” And, when Robert Battle, artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) welcomed everyone from the podium of the legendary Apollo Theater, he confirmed the mission of the evening noting that “…this was the most
successful Ailey at the Apollo ever;” they raised upwards of 1 million dollars.
Honorary guest for the evening was Robert Kiossane, a member of Ailey’s Board of Trustees, and honorary
chairs were Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks and his wife, Kimberly Chandler. The stars of the evening however were the students, campers and company members. First up was AileyCamp New York who presented their rendition of Rennie Harris’ Home originally choreographed for AAADT, and they were voracious in capturing Harris’ nuanced urban movement language. With a wink, even Battle said, “…watch out Ailey.” Students from the Ailey School, from the very young (7 years old), to college age (early 20s), followed with a stunning presentation of Synthesis (2010) a blend of different dance styles and techniques offered at the school, choreographed by the teachers (Maguette Camara, Ana Marie Forsythe, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Yahaya Kamate, and Pedro Ruiz). The ever-talented Ailey II presented Amy Hall’s Virtues (2012), and AAADT followed with a rousing performance of Ronald K. Brown’s Grace (1999). After intermission, Kirven James Boyd and Samuel Lee Roberts of AAADT wowed the audience in Battle’s Strange Humors (1998), and to rousing applause and a standing ovation, the timeless classic Revelations (1960) closed the performance part of evening.
To the sounds of DJ Kiss, the crowd moved to the very fancy party area where dancers, honoree, and
all those who helped make the evening a success, partied into the night.
Photo: William Frederking
Darrell Jones presents Hoo-Ha (for your eyes only),
May 23-25 - Danspace Project
Thursday-Saturday at 8:00PM
Don't miss Darrell Jones and company in one of his rare New York performances. Hoo-Ha (for your eyes only) is "...the release
of the oppressed feminine in the male body. Pulling from voguing vocabularies, Jones forges forbidden moments and movements in this danced ritual of passage seeking physical and psychic liberation." Find out more here: http://danspaceproject.org/
Purchase Dance Company
May 22-25 - New York Live Arts
Wednesday - Sunday at 7:30pm
The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College’s School of the Arts is one of the premier professional training programs in the world. Members of the Purchase Dance Company are selected from the BFA program and represent the most talented performers of the next generation of dance artists. The Company will perform
works by five choreographers including Bill T. Jones’s Spent Days Out Yonder and George Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie, as well as new works created specifically for the Company by Loni Landon, Claire Porter and Ori
Flomin. In addition, each evening will feature a graduating senior dancing a repertory solo.
Find out more here: http://www.newyorklivearts.org/event/purchase-2012
The New York Debut of 10 Hairy Legs
May 30 - Jun 2 - New York Live Arts
Thursday - Saturday at 7:30 - Sunday at
10 Hairy Legs is a repertory company–comprised entirely of men–of Randy James’ work as well as existing and new works by today’s most significant modern dance choreographers. Their New York debut features work by Founding Artistic Director Randy James, as well as David Parker, Claire Porter and Manuel Vignoulle.
Find out more here: http://www.newyorklivearts.org/event/10_hairy_legs
To be sure, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the artistic director for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet introduces a great deal of European choreographers to American audiences when they set works
on the company. The one-week season opened with an exquisite presentation of Jiri Kylian’s Indigo Rose, framed with a daring show of lights (by Michael Simon), decor (by Kylian) and costumes (by Joke Visser). The cast: Billy Bell, Jon Bond, Vania Doutel Vaz, Jason Kittleberger , Joseph Kudra, Navarra Novy-Williams, Joaquim de Santana, Jin Young Won and Ebony Williams. Crystal Pite’s
demanding Ten Duets On A Theme Of Rescue followed, and was danced superbly by Jon Bond, Nickemil Concepcion, Guillaume Queau, Ida Saki and Williams. Each dancer, in different pairings, was so very skillful in their shape-shifting lifts and balances.
Kudos to Williams for such captivating and technically fabulous
dancing! Andonis Foniadakis’ fast-paced Horizons closed the
evening’s program. The cast: Bond, Kudra, Novy-William, Queau, Matthew Rich, Ida Saki, de Santana, Acacia Schachte, Rachelle Scott and Young Won.
The energy outside of The Joyce Theater is often buzzing before a performance, but this time there was anticipation for the performance outside, scheduled to take place before the performance inside. But…there was also another pre-performance event happening inside—the anticipation was
fantastic. Go into the theatre and there, under the slightly raised curtain, lying corpse-like on his back with the bottoms of his feet painted gold, was Petronio in a black suit. Then look up, and on the other side, just above the audience is visual artist Janine Antoni as a “living set,” lying incredibly still in a helicopter stretcher, task light hanging from her left arm and a sculpture of body parts above her. Rush back outside because there is still more that hasn’t happened. Outside there are upwards of 30 members of The Young People’s Chorus of New York City dressed in all black singing their hearts out. They are then followed by musician Son Lux and his live ensemble (one holding a New Orleans style, second-line umbrella) who eventually parades the band and the singers into the theatre. Lux and his three-member band stop at the base of the stage, and the choir surrounds the audience, more members appear from seated posts inside the theatre, filling every possible open space—a coffin? Then, without a microphone, Lux begins to sing ever so softly “I wanna die like Lazarus did,” and swaying from side to side, the choir would
join in with “come out…come out…hallelujah.” Soon Petronio and the chorus slowly disappear, the band moves to the orchestra pit, but Antoni remains in her hanging post where she stays for the entire performance. When the curtain rises all the way, the dancers appear in all white, shifting forward and back from a straight line, and begins to explore the space one body part at a time: palms slowly opening to face the audience, a foot brushes up a leg, standing stoically on the balls of their feet, then they spin, curl, contract, or cut the air in controlled chaos. Sumptuous and supple shapes are matched by Petronio’s ode to resurrection when stiff bodies are passed over on onto another body, or when in staggered zombie-like movement the dancers are lugged, joint-by-joint deep into the floor; falling or being taken over by gravity. Standout performance was given by Davalois Fearon in a quartet with three men whom she commanded to assist in her every move as she is manipulated from one lift to another. To close, Nicholas Sciscione a stellar performer throughout, is alone on stage, and for this final movement, by way of languid and peaceful shapes that takes him to the floor, he dies, poetically. The other collaborators for this fantastic Petronio event were: Francisco Nunez , director of The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, costume designer H. Petal, lighting designer Ken Tabchnick, and the terrific dancers: Julian De Leon, Joshua Green, Gino Grenek, Barrington Hinds, Natalie Mackessy, Jaqlin Medlock, Emily Stone and Joshua Tuason.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
May 14—26 at The Joyce
The company's Joyce season will consist of two programs of works by Mats Ek, Ohad Naharin, Aszure Barton and Robyn Mineko Williams. For more information visit www.joyce.org
RHAW - Rennie Harris Awe-inspiring Works
May 17 - 26 at The New Victory Theater
RHAW features a youthful company of nine dancers who pop and lock, b-boy and boogaloo. For more information visit www.newvictory.org
To be in the audience at Elizabeth Streb’s SLAM (Streb Lab for
Action Mechanics) is to have experienced a torrid chain of emotions from the time you take your seat to when you are forced to admit that the show is over and you have to leave—and that’s too bad! For the month-long (April 4 – 28) production of Forces the “Action Engineers,” as the performers are so aptly called, must be given more than just applause because as incredulous as the experience is, they, the Action Engineers are the ones who make this real. Streb’s Action Engineers are: Sarah Callan, Jackie Carlson, Leonardo Giron Torres, Felix Hess, Samantha Jakus, Cassandre Joseph, John Kasten, Daniel Rysak, and Fabio Tavares Da Silva (Associate Artistic Director). Forces at SLAM is shaped by loud music pumped by DJ/MC Zaire Baptiste who is also fabulously loud, and a vociferous crowd who eggs on the performers from their seats which are only steps away from the action. We see and feel the sweat fly. The excited crowd is given a tongue-in-cheek warning - “Do not try this at home,” but here’s why audiences want more, and practically hold their breath at a SLAM performance. In Forces, bodies come crashing into a glass wall from both sides, a 200lb high beam is balanced on top of a head, or spins very close above bodies lying flat on the floor, a floor revolving in opposite directions features an Action Engineer slowly going into and out of a matrix-like back bend, another Action Engineer is strapped by ropes allowing her to “fly” high and pretty close to the audience, or magically, the entire company could exchange their incredible gift of man-against-machine with one of the SLAM apparatuses. Video clips of Elizabeth Streb were shown between the thirteen works about people fascinated by these kinds of possibilities, the history of risk-taking, plus her thoughts on gravity, the genius of it all and so much more. Steb even said, “My dream is that humans can fly.” In Forces, they did.
See the YouTube link below for a sneak peak of what you missed. Don't miss the next one - www.streb.org
Though long gone now, the Season of Cambodia festival offered yet another gem amongst the many gems
from the festival – The Shadow Puppet Troupe of Wat Bo and their presentation of Sor Neakabas (the Magical Arrowhead Dragon). Presented at the World Financial Center’s Brookfield Place at the Winter Garden, the backdrop for the projection screen, mounted on the high-rise stage, was a view of the New York skyline. Soon the pageantry began as the performers passed through the audience to gather behind the screen, then
musicians, plus one male and one female vocalist. After an introduction with a bit of background about the Sbeik Thom (Cambodian Large Shadow Puppets), the musicians and vocalists took their place, flanking both sides of the stage. Their legendary stories were then told by dancers using the magnificently sculptured shadow puppets, and translated in English on the screen. Held in one or both hands; or by one or two dancers, the figures came to life. Taking turns in front of the illuminated screen or on the stage, in groups of twos, threes or more, the troupe told legendary stories of spirituality, belief, rescue and prosperity. The puppets “moved” quickly when the dancer’s arms shivered, they enacted a fight when the dancer’s elbows locked and released in time with each step, or they would “run” when the dancers repeated a hop-step (one knee bends while the other bent leg lifts) back and forth a couple of times. An age-old classical art form came to life—thank goodness.
A NOTE FROM DR. DIANNE MCINTYRE:
Hello Family, Friends, Colleagues,
This Saturday, May 11 I will be receiving an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Cleveland State University. I feel a great blessing in this award! The graduation ceremony is open to the public beginning at 9:30 AM at the Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland.
My sister, Dr. Donna M. Whyte is Director, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at CSU and also teaches African American History.
READ MORE HERE: http://www.csuohio.edu/news/2013/05/050613.html
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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."