More Dance This Week ~
& Adam Barruch
Teri and Oliver Steele's Steeledance brings Strictly Personal and Adam Barruch will present the Yard premiere of Belladona as a full-length work. Find our more here
Galapagos Art Space -DUMBO
In Choy's premiere, THIRST, "Afro-Caribbean & Javanese cultural narratives merge with 19th century U.S. history to frame a new sea tale. African Americans meet when they repair New York’s Old Croton Dam in 1880s. The workers then sail to the Caribbean to mine guano, the lucrative fertilizer from seagull droppings. The journey takes surprising twists, leading to a discovery of the secret of water," according to the release. Find out more here
Some Dance This Week ~
The Set Up: I Nyoman Catra
120 Wall Street
Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey with Nyoman Catra
"Initiated in 2012, The Set Up is an eight-part series made by Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey with eight international artists viewed as masters in their respective disciplines. Each master is invited to teach what they think is most important about the form to which they have devoted their lives. This is followed by periods of response and reflection that culminate with a final piece," according to the release. The collaborators are: Wally Cardona, Jennifer Lacey, I Nyoman Catra and Rebecca Warner. The dancers are: Rebecca Warner, Jennifer Lacey, Wally Cardona and guests. Music is by Jonathan Bepler & Megan Schubert. This is a free event. Find our more here
June 24-July 12
Glover returns to the Joyce with the premiere of OM: THE OFFERINGZ, THE PRAYERS, THE RESOLUTIONZ featuring Marshall Davis Jr., Mari Fujibayashi, Keitaro Hosokawa, and Olivia Rosenkrantz. Find out more here
Midsummer Night Swing
June 24-July 12
The annual outdoor event at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park which happens on Tuesday evenings is filled with music and dance lessons by top artist in the field. Find out more here
TAKE Dance, Steps Repertory Ensemble, BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance
Free in NYC - See three NYC companies perform as part of the Bryant Park Modern Dance series. Find out more here
As part of the DANCE: Access incentive, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance will premiere RU by Lavagnino in collaboration with composer Scott Killian, and other works. Find out more here
Anahid Sofian Dance Company
Over 25 dancers and musicians will present signature works from the Near and Middle East in celebration of the company's 35th Anniversary. Find out more here
Randy James’ 10 Hairy Legs
New York Live Arts
James’ all male dance company brings new and remounted works by Julie Bour, David Dorfman and Dan Froot, Doug Elkins, Tiffany Mills, David Parker, Claire Porter and James. Find our more here
There is so much good to be said about the dancers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, but there is also a good deal of compliments that must be shared with Artistic Director Robert Battle who now holds the title for three years. In one evening (June 13) of the two-week long season at Lincoln Center, Battle dared to bring back the famous solo, Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, choreographed in 1932 by Asadata Dafora and it was exhilarating. The work was remounted by Ella Thompson-Moore the wife of the only other capable performer of the work, Charles Moore, as it was recreated by Moore. Dafora and Katherine Dunham, as noted in the program, are “…two of the most important exponents of African dance in the U.S.,” and Moore, a student of both, was the perfect person to continue the dance. A young legend, drummer Ron McBee with Carl Riley composed original music. Ailey’s Antonio Douthit-Boyd now shares in the legacy of this great work, and he did a fine job.
Also on the program were wonderful performances of Ronald K. Brown’s Grace, Bill T. Jones’ D-Man In The Waters (Part 1) and Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16.
SOME DANCE THIS WEEK(END) ~
Dances for a Variable Population
WEST HARLEM PIERS PARK- 125th Street and the Hudson River
SOLSTICE STEPS - With a cast of 50 dancers, ranging in age from 25-85, Dance For A Variable Population's (DVP) continues its mission to “…promote strong and creative movement among adults of all ages and abilities.” Solstice Steps will be presented as part of Riverside Park’s “Summer on the Hudson” series Harlem Dances and will feature a premiere by Founder and Artistic Director Naomi Goldberg Haas, plus works by invited guest choreographers and performers including George Faison, Sandra Genter, Walter Rutledge, Robin Williams, Dyane Harvey, Loretta Abbott and Dudley Williams. “Solstice is the longest day of the year—an opportunity to take in the past, sit with our thoughts and celebrate. It is a pause before embarking on the second half of the year and is semi-‐sweet,” explains Naomi Goldberg Haas. “Solstice Steps directly reflects the elements of this season—a look back in time and a celebration of age and evolution.” Find our more here
Chocolate Factory Theater
Thorson’s “…YOU slowly composes itself from an ensemble movement practice that mediates human connection and togetherness for everyone in the room,” according to the release. Collaborators are Thorson, Genevieve Muench, Max Wirsing, Emma Barber, Jessica Cressey and Lenore Doxsee. Find out more here
STEPS REPERTORY ENSEMBLE
Ailey Citigroup Theater
Steps Beyond presents the Steps Repertory Ensemble and guests in "Celebrate Dance," an evening of works by William Forsythe, Francesca Harper, Elisa Monte and company artistic director Bradley Shelver. Plus guest dancers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Sidra Bell Dance NY. Find out more here
In her new work (Perma)Culture, performed by an ensemble of eight, Sigman “…explores the connection between movement systems and systems in nature,” according to the release. Find out more here
WHITE WAVE Dance
Choreographer Young Soon Kim presents the premiere of the full-length work Eternal NOW, accompanied by a live score from composer Marco Cappelli. Eternal NOW is the culminating work from being selected for BAM’s 2013/2014 Professional Development Program (PDP), a collaborative program provided by BAM & the Kennedy Center’s DeVos Institute of Arts Management. Find out more here
Elke Rindfleisch/Sarah Weber Gallo
This Dance Is Nonfiction is “…the first work Rindfleisch and Weber Gallo have made together since the former forayed to Berlin in 2008,” according to the release. Find out more here
Dance icon, Carmen DeLavallade returns to Jacob’s Pillow and opens the 2014 Festival with As I Remember It, a new solo mixing story, memoire and her life’s experience on stage. DeLavallade holds the distinction of the longest Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival performing career on record, having made her Pillow debut with Lester Horton Dance Theatre in 1953 and performing at the Festival as recently as 2004 (with Paradigm), she now extends that record by another decade. Find out more here
BAX Artist in Residence (2013-2014) Sperber presents EVERY ROOM IS OPEN (work in progress). Find out more here
Jamie Watkins, Annalisa Ledson & Lori Parquet
For the new dance theatre work UNSEX ME HERE, the “…wicked ladies from William Shakespeare's plays…fuses electric scenes with dance, while erasing the moral and sexual lines drawn between beauty and the grotesque,” according to the release. Find out more here
A.O. Movement Collective
Abrons Art Center
Performers from the A. O. Movement Collective’s ETLE UNIVERSE performs at ROVE (formerly RoofTop Dance) in a site-specific, participatory performance experience involving time-travel and feminist rebellion. Find out more here
Sorry I Missed Your Show: Marathon
A mini-festival of dance (on) film and more with selected screenings and special guests including Sarah Holmes’ New Ambition (2013, excerpt), Excerpts of The Gleaners and I, a documentary by Agnès Varda, & selections of Big Dance Theater’s Comme Toujours Here I Stand with guests Annie-B Parson & Sylvie Vitaglione, Jon Kinzel’s Someone Once Called Me A Sound Man (2013, excerpt), A special Denzel mash-up by niv Acosta, and Check your Body at the Door, a documentary by Sally Sommer, Charles Atlas & Michael Shwartz, starring Willi Ninja and Archie Burnett, with special guest Archie Burnett. Find out more here
Pascal Rioult's RIOULT Dance NY - 20th Anniversary Season - @ The Joyce 6/17 -6/22
For RIOULT Dance NY’s 20th anniversary season (June 17-22) at The Joyce Theater, Artistic Director/Choreographer Pascal Rioult will premiere Dream Suite, bring back key repertory works, and honor his mentors May O’Donnell and Martha Graham. “Program A,” titled Martha, May & me will highlight O’Donnell and Graham, plus two by Rioult, while Dream Suite and more from Rioult will be featured in “Program B.” Rioult and his wife, Associate Artistic Director Joyce Herring, both former Graham Dance Company principal dancers, lead the company of twelve dancers. With a repertoire of over 40 dances, as Rioult puts it, he continues to make work because of “…the urge.” Read on to hear Rioult speak candidly about this season, the works, some memories and what’s next:
What does it feel like to celebrate 20 years?
Most incredible. I never thought we would get here and keep growing as one of the most vibrant companies in New York. It is very rewarding in terms of the works created; but also the opportunities offered to the dancers.
Do you remember those early days/years, celebrating 5 years, for example? Can you share one or two mile-stone memories or anecdotes?
Yes I do remember the early years; they felt very exciting, but so uncertain. But I always looked to grow the company to a “mainstream” dance company. From the beginning I used to say that either it would become a “full-fledged” dance company, or it will not.
Our invitation to the Cannes International Dance Festival in France after only 3 years of existence is a major memory; making us believe that we could have an international career.
Our first Joyce Theater “All Together Different” season, after 6 years was another major recognition; a test of things to come.
What brings you to that place each year to want to make a new work? What is that like?
Well … it is what I do, what I love to do, what I am meant to do (as my mentor Martha Graham used to tell us: “You do not choose to become a choreographer, you are chosen”. So … What can I do? After I tried my hand at it, there was no choice and, if it is not easy every day, there is nothing else I would want to do and no other people I would want to spend my days with but my dancers. Meanwhile, I try to not take it (myself) too seriously … every day, I just go to work. And I hope it will make a very small difference.
Program B features Wien (1995), Iphigenia (2013), and the premiere, Dream Suite to music by Tchaikovsky, but that’s all we know. Can you tell us more about Dream Suite?
The new work “Dream Suite” is a whimsical piece inspired by the spirit of Chagall. It is new territory for me as I am not known for whimsical or light hearted works. The central movement of Tchaikovsky’s Suite #2 is called “Child’s dream” and it gave me the clue about what the piece would be about. There is also a definite folk feeling to the piece that fits Tchaikovsky’s music, and it is uncharted territory for me. The dreams are surreal landscapes; some inhabited by contemporary people with animal heads. One of the attraction (and challenge) for me was to see if I could do something different to this highly romantic and balletic music.
Program A is colored with connections from your past (“Martha, May” - Graham’s El Penitente (1940) and O'Donnell's Suspension (1943)? Plus early works by you (“Me”- Black Diamond (2003) and Views of the Fleeting World (2008)).
Why these iconic works? And why the pairing with these particular works from your past?
The idea was to honor my roots in American modern dance and say: “I did not invent anything, I am just building upon a shared past … Nothing is born out of a void, all transforms”. Those two works are iconic for me: Suspension was a shock to me as it was the first totally abstract dance I had ever seen. My Black Diamond was a turning point for me in trying to make poetry with abstraction. El Penitente is a work that I loved to dance for Martha as it is so simple, primitive yet shows brilliant craftsmanship from which I learned so much. It is also the work I danced at the Paris Opera and performed with my wife Joyce Herring and Michael Baryshnikov. Lots of great memories.
What keeps you making work?
In our ever-challenging world of art-making what do you hope for your work and your company’s future?
To stay alive for at list another 20 years, to stay vibrant and changing while keeping to a high professional and human standards.
RIOULT Dance NY opens this Tuesday, June 17. Find out more here
Read more about the works below
John Jasperse’s new evening-length work Within between presented at New York Live Arts (May 28-31) welcomed otherness and the unfamiliar, and from the top of the show he invites the audience to be a part of this self-imposed investigation. Not a newcomer to this kind of questioning, he admits that the resolve “…takes shape through making dance.” And for Within between, his aim was to realize “…a creative space that could transcend this inside-outside binary, rendering a work both mine and not mine.” A very long pole, held by Simon Courchel, pokes into the audience, randomly taps a shoulder, frames a face and then moves to another victim. Courchel is then joined by Stuart Singer for a pole-balancing trio where each of the three dictates the next move. It’s all carefully timed. The set up screamed formal---lines on the floor, stripes running through their costumes, and all four dancers (Maggie Cloud, Courchel, Burr Johnson and Singer), like mannequins, incessantly repeating ballet phrases. Before long though, the formal-ness was disrupted, lines were smeared when these gorgeous dancers (who make contorted look so good), do away with the turnout; the familiar is gone. Everything turns inward, including their faces, and a stomping session pursues; they slap a thigh and clap their hands, having a good ol’ time—defiance? The costumes also change to an amalgam of floral prints to match the ever-changing soundscape. Jonathan Bepler with Mick Barr and Megan Schubert perfected “the other” with their many versions of clearing the throat, OMGs, more “valley girl” lingo and musical notes here and there. Jasperse is genius in the way he melds these different ideas, even some tunes from a marching band was part of his upsetting the norm.
Before the premiere of Daniel Gwirtzman’s The Oracle presented at BAM’s Fisher (May 30-June1) for his company Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, a campaign was launched sharing fifteen events (including dance films) over fifteen weeks. The film series includes working with students, site-specific excursions, a “return” of a Gwirtzman character “Life Coach Danny,” plus a series made in Bahia, Brazil which “highlights the beauty of the natural landscape…” and his work with dancers there. In the making of this work Gwirtzman also set out to highlight “…a continuum of gatherings” and to “…examine relationships and their evolution over time.” For The Oracle, this marriage of group, relationship and evolution was real. Situated in the round, The Oracle begins with a solo for Gwirtzman who is then joined by Jonathan Alsberry, connecting angles, lines with darting legs and arms. Anna Schon enters, and then with Gwirtzman and Alsberry all three develop more lovely partnering sequences. The cast of 14, including Gwirtzman, Alsberry and Schon kept coming; filling the space with nice partnering, shifting patterns and a good deal interplay with the contrasting music by composer Jeff Story.
Please choose a color:
I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member at The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), 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."