Thank goodness for folks who appreciate dance and those that came before them in the world of dance. Stephen Petronio continues his charge which he began last year as “…a project to honor the masters of my past while forgoing into our collective future,” says Petronio. Called “Bloodlines,” the project is "...a multiyear project that embraces significant works by inspirational trailblazers of American postmodern dance. Last year Petronio honored the inimitable Merce Cunningham by presenting Cunningham’s 1968 work “RainForest.” I wrote about it here. Also last year, an icon himself, Paul Taylor, for his company Paul Taylor American Dance, equally bent on celebrating master works, presented Martha Graham’s 1948 work Diversion of Angels to honor Graham during her Company’s 90th Anniversary Celebration. Taylor performed in Diversion of Angels during his time with the Graham Company. This year as part of their season (March 30 – April 3 at Lincoln Center) Taylor celebrates Donald McKayle and will present Rainbow ’Round My Shoulder, McKayle’s 1959 masterpiece, which will be danced by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. For this season, Petronio featured Trisha Brown’s Glacial Decoy (1979), “…a dance for five women which uses the edges of the stage …to magnify the reach of dance beyond its frame,” notes the release. There aren’t enough words to express the beauty and skilled simplicity in the choreography, suffice it to say, the dancers, Davalois Fearon, Cori Kresge, Jaqlin Medlock, Tess Montoya and Emily Stone did this work justice. Petronio premiered Big Daddy (Deluxe), where the company moved literally at times to his colorful words about his father. It was lovely to see Petronio “move” and talk, if only briefly, bringing back the text and movement genre. The evening closed with his powerful, funky and fast MiddleSexGorge (1990). The dancers (Fearon, Kyle Filley, Gino Grenek, Kresge, Jaqlin Medlock, Tess Montoya, Nicholas Sciscione, Stone and Joshua Tuason) are just beautiful. Sadly, this is the last season for the incredibly talented Grenek. We will miss his command of Petronio’s work and the way he takes charge of any stage.
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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."