PREVIEW: Focus 2013 and Dance Gotham
To kick off 2013, New York City will once again turn its full attention to the performing arts. The annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference joins hundreds of performing artists with presenters from all over the world in hopes of forging connections and fostering plans for future engagements. It’s like a giant shopping expo of performances, peppered with seminars, meetings, and parties.
But you don’t have to be a professional artist to enjoy what’s happening at APAP. Anyone can buy a ticket to the theatre and dance pieces on display.
Dance takes center stage from January 8-14. That’s when the Focus 2013 dance festival will appear at the Joyce Theater, Ailey Citigroup Theater, the NYU Skirball Center, and New York City Center.
The mission of this multi-part, multi-venue showcase is to highlight American dance with an eye toward international touring. With 30 dance companies performing on three stages over one week, both casual and passionate dance fans can find something satisfying.
For its part of the festival, the Joyce will feature eight companies, including NYC-based Camille Brown and Dancers. Ms. Brown has been nurtured and featured by the Gotham Arts Exchange, the founding body of Focus, so the relationship here between presenter and artist is one of longstanding partnership and growth.
Brown will be presenting 3 works: The Real Cool, City of Rain, and Been There Done That. The latter, a duet with Juel D. Lane, has become a crowd favorite in the choreographer’s repertoire. “We play classic performers from the 1950/60s,” Brown says. “You always see duos from that era dancing as if there’s no place they’d rather be. I always wondered if these pairs even liked each other and were just putting up a front. The work is a peek at the onstage antics of a duo.” To communicate this dynamic, Lane and Brown speak to each other onstage as they negotiate their steps. They play back and forth, competing for the spotlight. The piece illuminates that even in partnerships, there is a star. “I have to be on my toes with Juel! I never know what he’s going to say!” Brown says.
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