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An Inside Look at Armitage Gone! Dance Spring Season at the Joyce Theater

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.

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The Last Tightrope Dancer In Armenia

“I never thought it would go to a dance festival. I was making a film about people,“ remarked director Arman about her film, “The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia,” screened as part of Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.

Stangely, in this simple introduction to the film, Yeritsyan illuminated the key characteristic of cultural dance forms. A community’s traditions, symbols, beliefs and values are often reflected in the way that community moves; the way people express their lives through communal movement. So, when a dance form is braided into the historical fabric of a culture as tightrope dancing was in Armenia, its disappearance is reason to sit up and notice…

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