Karole Armitage, often described as the heir to George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham, welcomed her audience (January 31 – February 9) and shared that although her vision for Mechanics of the Dance Machine (world premiere) included sharing the performance space with the audience, after she saw the NYLA space there was no need because the “…space was intimate enough.” Oh well, no audience on the stage for this run, but for a solid hour there was a great deal of space shifting and body manipulation going on. Like a checkerboard (the fancy name is actually “Walsh functions”), the wingless performance area, shifting without pause, featured solos, couples and other groupings framed by bodies or lights designed by Clifton Taylor. Two dancers were on pointe, while the others wore socks, but everyone wore very little clothing—showing their sculpted bodies. The dancers crawled or were guided like animals, dragged or contorted into some superfluous positions. There is no Armitage without a bit of drama, so here there was some—a smirk, a smile, a dare or a sassy wall—all there. Simply beautiful movers and interpreters of this work were Megumi Eda, Abbey Roesner and Christian Laverde who had such command; shifting with superior ease from silky nonchalant shapes to geometrically sure lines. This was Eda’s last performance with the Company. Ahmaud Culver, Daniel L. Moore, Lourdes Rodriguea, Jeffrey C. Sousa, Emily Wagner and Maysay Yamaguchi completed this cast of daring performers. Kudos also to the wild music mixes by DJ/composer Gabriel Prokofiev.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), 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, Kean University 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."