A projected wall of leaves ripples in the wind on stage and I can already sense the visual mastery at work in zoe | juniper’s New York Premiere of A Crack in Everything at New York Live Arts. The house lights dim and we are welcomed to a peculiar new realm, where dancers in patches of gold perform behind a giant glass wall on the front of the stage. Zoe Scofield’s powerful movement vocabulary owns the stage behind the protective layer in front of us. It’s an interesting new angle to see the fourth wall constructed physically. As the show continues, it becomes increasingly clear that the audience’s perspective will remain in constant flux and rarely visit the comfort zone.
Thursday night at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Summation Dance premiered Sumi Clement’s Deep End, a morbid portrayal of New York life as a clutter of futility. The work looks at the dehumanizing effects of living as one among many, and the struggle and frequent despair inherent in the voracious quest to achieve.
Sidra Bell Dance New York is thick in preparation for the opening of their New York Season next week at Baruch Performing Arts Center. The season’s works together are entitled, Duel, consisting of two evening length works to be presented for two consecutive weeks between March 22 and April 1.
When I visited the company’s New York Live Arts rehearsal, there was a clear collaborative atmosphere as the dancers fiddled with costumes and discussed them with Bell and costume designer Erin Schultz. Collaboration plays a role in Bell’s work from start to finish with both dancers and designers. “I enjoy creating worlds onstage. The lighting, the costuming, all play in from the beginning of the process,” Bell explained.
Swedish choreographer and dancer Pontus Lindberg’s Labyrinth Within is a series of pas de deux on film that explores the lines between reality and perception. The majority of the 28 minute film, with a score created by David Lang (and recorded in 2009 by The Symphony Orchestra of Sweden’s Norrlands Operan) takes place in Giovanni Bucchieri and Wendy Whelan’s apartment. The two main characters are in the later years of a now stale marriage.
In my last blog I wrote about inspiration, but mentioned that there were three questions that I frequently am asked. I’ve answered about where I find inspiration, so this entry I’d like to delve into what I strive for now at this point in my career. And like last time, I’ll start with the most obvious.
I am always trying to perfect my technique. I don’t think this is unusual. In fact, I think it is the most boring answer a dancer can give when asked what they strive for. But nonetheless, it is absolutely true and a constant thought and force in my life.
This week, Armitage Gone! Dance, under the direction of daring choreographer Karole Armitage, took the stage at the Joyce Theater in New York for a two week, two program concert run spanning from April 26-May 8th. The show, no matter what night you choose to see it, promises to be anything but tame. With seven rehearsals to go before the dancers moved into the theater, I sat down with Karole Armitage at the company’s rehearsal home, Dance Theatre of Harlem, to get a sneak peek of both her new work and repertory that has been refreshed and revamped for this unique company season. Program A of the Armitage Gone! Dance season will incorporate Ligeti Essays and Drastic Classicism, both older works continuously evolving since creation, as well as the world premiere of Armitage’s newest work GAGA-GaKu, performed with selected members of Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble. Program B will show Three Theories, a full-evening piece premiered in 2010 dealing in universal physical laws and phenomena. In my observation of two of Armitage’s pieces, Ligeti Essays and GAGA-Gaku, it didn’t take long for me to realize the full scale of Armitage’s ambition, fed by a fascination with human experience.
Editor’s note: The following guest post is by New York City Ballet principal dancer Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder). This is the first of a three-part series. At this point in my career, after ten years as a professional ballet dancer, I find myself being asked these three questions quite often: How…
Editor’s note: A special thanks to The Ballet Bag (@theballetbag) for tracking down Damien Johnson and conducting DancePulp’s ongoing 20 question interview with him. In The Ballet Bag’s previous guest post, they discuss ballet’s crossover to other artforms, particularly pop music. Damien Johnson is a dancer with Ballet Black in…
Each year, Dance Film Association, in partnership with The Film Society of Lincoln Center compiles a diverse and colorful selection of films to present at their Dance on Camera festival. This year (the 39th for DFA) was no different at participating New York City venues Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Big Screen Project and the Beacon School. Dance on Camera offered film screenings, photo installations, lectures and exhibitions during from January 25 thru February 1.
Over the past 10 years, dance has moved progressively toward mainstream culture. Dance has always been a universal language, but never before have the performing arts been so widely accessible. Due to recent media hype around dance, families now have the opportunity to see dance in the comfort and convenience of their own homes, rather than paying the expensive ticket prices of upscale theatres. Popular shows like “Dancing With The Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and “America’s Got Talent” put dancers center stage in living rooms of those who may never have otherwise been interested.